- Review of the LiteratureThe purpose of this assignment is to further your understanding about a topic that is of interest to you by reviewing the professional literature available on that topic. The topic must also be relevant to this class, at the least being relevant to life stages ranging from conception through adolescence. The final product of this process will be a written literature review that summarizes and analyzes the literature you selected.
For helping professionals, effectively using professional literature (research, theory, reflections, etc.) is a critical aspect of competent practice. With this skill, practitioners are able to obtain information that helps them understand a particular social problem, interventions used to address the problem, how well these interventions work, and where additional research is needed. In other words, being able to effectively use the available literature helps us be the best professionals possible.
Please organize your final literature review paper in the following manner:
Define your topic in very clear terms. What issue/problem/phenomena are you interested in learning / writing about? Provide specific information regarding the scope of your topic (e.g., number of people experiencing it, what the problem costs, etc.). You do not need to go into painful detail but you want to ensure your reader can understand exactly what the focus of your paper is and why it is an important topic. Include up to three references supporting your area of focus. Maximum of 1 page.
- Literature Review
This section is where you summarize and analyze the literature you have selected for your topic. What do we know about this issue and the dynamics of the issue? Why does it occur? Who is at risk to experience this problem? Who is affected by it? What kinds of interventions or treatments have been used to address this problem? Do they work? Do they work better with some groups than with others? Include a minimum of four (4) peer-reviewed articles. Two pages maximum
III. Critique of the Literature
Evaluate the articles you included in your review. Did the articles “made sense”? Were the articles believable? Did you question the accuracy of the articles? If so, why? Based on what you have read, what is missing in terms of the research that exists on your topic? What strengths, and what weaknesses did you experience with what you have read? What questions still exist about your topic? Knowing what you now know, if you had the opportunity to conduct further research on your topic, what would you focus on? One page maximum.
In this last section summarize what you have learned from the literature you have reviewed, identifying three (3) specific points you now know about your topic. What did you learn? Were there especially important points that you think others should know about this issue? What is especially important to consider when thinking about this issue? 2 pages maximum.
Notes about this assignment:
To help you maximize the value of this assignment, here are some comments/suggestions:
- Be sure to use peer-reviewed, professional literature for this assignment. If you have any questions about what peer-reviewed literature is and how to find it, ask me and/or go to this site: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/scholarly_articles
- Do not “recycle” a paper previously written for another assignment. Recycled papers are easy to spot and this type of action is considered a form of academic misconduct (see page 26 of the 2015-2016 Student Handbook, “multiple submission”).
- Use sources that are less than 10 years old. If the source is considered “authoritative,” i.e. still makes a significant contribution to our understanding of a specific phenomena, you are free to use the source but please do so sparingly.
- Be precise in your writing. The page limits specified for this assignment are more than adequate as long as you write concisely. Do not exceed the identified page limits.
- Use quotes sparingly. Consistent with most style formats (APA, MLA, AMA, etc.), quotes should be used for impact, emphasis and when you cannot paraphrase the material. For additional information, see: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/12/you-can-quote-me-on-this.html
- Don’t lose points because you did not follow APA formatting guidelines. I provide you with direction regarding the specific APA rules that are relevant to your paper so make sure your paper is compliant.
- Historically, the summary and critique section is where students struggle the most. Remember, you do want to summarize what you learned from your sources but don’t just restate what they told you: collapse it into general themes and provide us with the most salient points. You also want to critique the literature, especially if it was a research study. While I do not expect you to thoroughly dissect the study in terms of the design, methodology, and/or analysis, I do expect you to critically think about the “who, where, when, and why” of study and how that might impact the rigor and/or relevance of the study.