Literature Review Overview: Students will create a literature for their critical

Literature Review Overview: Students will create a literature for their critical assignment. The purpose of your literature review is to justify your research project by evaluating the state of knowledge on the topic. This literature review will have at least ten academic sources and be at least three pages in length. Literature Review Instructions:
You will develop a literature review that is a thematic review of the literature. The literature review provides a review of sources (not a summary) to explain a theme found in the sources you read for your project. It helps explain what is in the academic research related to your topic to help you justify that you are filling a gap in the research for your topic. Complete the following in this literature review. 1. Review your sources and annotations from your annotated bibliography. Review feedback from the instructor related to your annotated bibliography and apply feedback.
2. Create at least two themes for your literature review. After reviewing the annotations develop and create at least two themes of your literature. Themes are how you organize your literature by common items in the sources. For example, if you are evaluating Instagram influencers. You may have a theme that discusses persuasive social media communication. This can be a theme of your sources that are all similar to this topic.
3. Use at least ten academic sources to write your thematic review. You will write a review of your sources organized in the themes you created. You will not use the annotations by copying and pasting them. Rather, you will use the annotations to create an explanation of your theme using the sources. Not every source has to be mentioned but you should thoroughly explain your theme using the sources. Refer to the information below for additional help.
4. Provide an APA reference list of all your sources in APA 7th edition.
______________________________________________________________________ Information about the literature review: A. Your Main Objective: The purpose of your literature review is to justify your research project by evaluating the state of knowledge on the topic (that is, what we already know, what is contested, what we don’t know). It provides the context for your study. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify the relevant literature (that is, the most influential theories/writing on the topic, the methods used, the findings/conclusions), be familiar with these, and locate their own study in relation to the literature.
B. Identifying your argument and the evidence you need: A literature review is a necessary step to identify your argument specific project and to develop your guide for gathering the evidence to examine this argument project. Through reading and evaluating the relevant literature, the working project has to develop into a refined argument project, by your becoming more informed about what others have argued or shown and your reactions to what they have said. You will also become informed about the types of methodology others have used and be able to identify your own methodology (e.g. what kind of variables you might need statistics on, what kind of empirical methodology is necessary and feasible–given your strengths and the time frame and the data availability; or what kinds of text you will be interpreting).
C. Identifying the Basic Trends and Patterns in the Literature:
In your literature review your strategy is to identify the main trends and patterns in the articles/books you read.
Pay attention to the following:
What theories seem to be referred to/used most often?
What are the common assumptions most researchers are making?
What are the common methods used?
What are the points of agreement/disagreement among the authors?
How has each scholar contributed with their work—are they the first to apply a particular method, first to survey a particular group, first to make a particular argument, and by doing so, how have they advanced the debate on the subject (shifted the question of interest etc.)?
Do any other researchers share your views (your “working capstone project”)?
How has the literature on the topic evolved in recent years?
A critical, thematic evaluation:
A literature review is not a list in paragraph form, composed on the basis of the above table, where you “stack” the summary of each article/book you have read. Example: “A argued and found…” “B showed…” “C concluded…” Instead, relevant studies need to be critiqued and evaluated, with a view to building an argument. Thus, based on the above table (or your own approach) you need to identify themes in the literature. For example, a number of authors may be arguing the same point (when you glance at your table columnwise). Then, you would write summary sentences explaining this theme in the literature and attach citations to specific authors as illustrations of this pattern. An example of a thematic evaluation is: “Many proponents of microcredit have argued that microcredit not only reduces household poverty but also increases the autonomy of women credit recipients (A, B, C). This claim has been the subject of intense debate, with many authors devising measures of empowerment to assess this argument. Some of these empirical studies have found support for the empowerment argument (C, D), while others have shown the empowerment effect to be contingent on other factors, such as asset ownership by women credit recipients (E). Yet others have pointed to the design of these programs as a major obstacle to increasing women’s autonomy (F, G). The premise of the arguments by A, B and C is that…which assumes…”
Notice that the thematic evaluation not only reflects your own thinking but also shifts the focus of the literature review from the work of others to the argument you are developing. You do not take at face value (report) what has been said by others but you evaluate it in light of the writings you’ve read in this topic, pointing out any flaw or weakness. In your evaluation of the literature you should evaluate content for its application to your research (which you identify in the last column of the table above). Your literature review does not necessarily include everything you have read on the topic. For each potential reference ask yourself: “Why am I including this reference?” The answer has to indicate how it helps build your argument. You want to include it because, for example, it makes a similar argument or it is an argument you are disagreeing with or it illustrates a weakness that you propose to overcome with research.
D. The Relevant Literature:
Levels of Relevance: The literature that is relevant to your research project is likely to be of three types that will demand different amounts of attention and space in your review.
Example: Background: You need to acknowledge these writings but not summarize them at length or in detail. These studies pertain to one aspect of “variable” in the research question. For the microcredit in Kenya paper, for example, studies that describe the shift in development policy toward neoliberal macroeconomic policies would be background literature. You may discuss key studies emphasizing that promotion of microcredit with its emphasis on self-employment, entrepreneurship, individual solutions, is consistent with market reforms and privatization.
Somewhat relevant: you need to provide greater attention to this literature but not evaluate these studies in critical detail. For example, the literature on poverty reduction policies in developing countries.
The most relevant: You need to provide a careful examination of these; these could be a set of studies that directly pertains to the research project. For example, studies on microcredit, quickly moving from a few well known South Asian studies to focus in-depth on Sub-Saharan Africa. (see the type of thematic evaluation illustrated above). Thus, your a thematic literature review would move from general statements on the background literature to the detailed evaluation of the most relevant literature progressively providing a more detailed, critical evaluation of the existing studies.

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