Review of literature

Every academic argument is a reaction to an ongoing conversation that exists both in lengthy, peer-reviewed documents such as books or journal articles as well as shorter things posted online that are read and responded to quickly such as blog posts and videos. This is the “literature.” When you are doing research on any topic, you must first be able to read the research critically in a way that shows (A) that you comprehend the individual texts but also (B) that you understand the way these different texts fit together into the conversation. After that, you often need to be able to (C) synthesize those to your audience in a way that helps them understand these relationships and (D) lay a foundation for the argument you want to make, or whatever your research purpose might be. Understand Your Individual Research TextsUnderstand the ConversationSynthesize the Conversation for Your AudienceFind Where You Fit in the Conversationliterature review gives you the opportunity to pause for the synthesis, both for yourself and for your audience. Note that a synthesis is different than a summary. In a synthesis, you should organize your paragraphs by topic and not by source, and—in addition to giving the reader an idea of what the source is about—a synthesis should accuratelyconnect the relevant and significant concepts from your texts. We’ll go over how to do that more in class. Source ATopic ASource B . . . Topic BIn the end, you should situate yourself in the conversation. In other words, after having read what all these other people have to say, where do you fit? A revised (and potentially shortened) version of your Literature Review can become part of your longer project. Your Literature Review should: be about 5-7 pages long (or equivalent), reflect your critical reading of 8-12 texts on your research topic, be cited and formatted using MLA/APA style, including a Works Cited/References page,have been drafted multiple times before being turned in, be grammatically correct, edited, and proofread, reflect multiple perspectives on the topic, not just yours, and be flexible so you can make additions or subtractions as you move forward with your project.

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