Reviews of the literature should be driven by an agenda, should categorize existing work, and identify a means of advancing the literature beyond its current situation. Introduction: Get the reader’s attention Identify the topic / problem / question and your larger argument / solution This can also a good place to outline the theory Road map of rest of paper Literature, Theory, etc.: Provide more detail about your topic/problem and theory. How does your project fit into the greater body of literature? Or how does it connect two bodies of literature? How does this research fill the gap / solve the problem? Theory: Repeat theory and briefly describe this theory; what are you testing? Origin of Theory (refer to literature, what have other scholars tested? How does it relate to what you are testing?) Conflicts in Theories (do scholars agree/disagree about the cause of the problem or possible solutions?) Restate the theory into a clear research question. How is this question similar to (or different from) your question (i.e. what did past scholars ask?) What is the relevant literature pertaining to this theory and research question? What have past scholars tested and found? What is the common debate amongst scholars about this/these relationships? How do their findings and debates relate to your project? Do they confirm your theory, disconfirm your theory, add to existing theory, provide alternative explanations? Do they have similar findings? If not, how are their studies, theories, research questions, variable measures, statistical tests different? What are the relevant concepts from the theory and research question? What are the accepted (academic) definitions of these concepts? Are there multiple academic definitions? How do these definitions differ? Compare the work of past scholars to the work you are doing and identify: Variables and Hypotheses: What is the dependent variable? How have past scholars defined this variable? What operational definitions have they used? How do they measure this variable? How does this variable vary (example: gender [female, male])? What is the independent variable(s)? How have past scholars defined this variable? What operational definitions have they used? How do they measure this variable? How does this variable vary (example: level of income [low, middle, high])? What are your hypotheses? What hypotheses have past scholars tested? Null Hypothesis (H0): Alternative Hypothesis (H1): Citations: APSA Style Provide the full, complete cite (author, title, journal title or publisher, year and page number) all of your scholarly works (academic journals or books). Are there other authors of interest cited in these articles which relate to your research? (Hint: look through the bibliographies and do an article trace / reverse citation search; get relevant literature prior to the work). Who has cited your literature since the date of publication? (Hint: Do a cited reference search; get relevant literature since)
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