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Literature Review Assignment Sheet

ENGH 302/H14

250 points

Due date: Thursday, May 8, at 11:59 pm

A literature review is a “comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic [that] surveys literature, scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research.”

A literature review places each work in the context of how it contributes to understanding the research problem (question) and helps the researcher to place his or her own research within the same context.

The literature review will demonstrate that you are able to identify a narrow research area, formulate a viable research question, locate, evaluate, read scholarship in your field, and propose viable suggestions for future avenues of research.

Steps to Writing a Literature Review:

Evaluate Sources:

Collect five to seven credible, academic (scholarly and peer-reviewed) sources relevant to your narrowed topic and/or your research question. These sources might include books, journal articles from various databases, library catalogues, etc. Read and examine these sources carefully, making notes in the margin. As you read sources, think about them in relation to their relevance to your topic and relationship to other sources.

Write your Introduction:

The introduction of your literature review “provides a clear statement of the topic and indicates why the research area is important, interesting, problematic or relevant in some way.” Basically, it presents your argument in relation to the topic.

Synthesize and Summarize Your Sources:

Synthesis is at the heart of every literature review. This process allows you to group texts with similar themes and draw critical comparisons AND contrasts among your sources while summarizing them. Groupings might be as simple as pros and cons, or you might create more specific categories, such as efficiency, purpose, advantages and disadvantages. You decide, but seek to not create more than three categories for the sake of clarity and organization

Note: Completing the synthesis chart I administered in class will help with this process.

Identify Gaps in the Literature:

Identifying gaps in the current literature involves identifying areas where more research or work is needed. Typically, this identification is part of the literature review’s concluding paragraphs.

Write your Conclusion:

The conclusion of your literature review involves 1.) Summarizing the important aspects of the existing body of literature, 2) identifying significant flaws or gaps in existing literature, and 3.) outlining areas for future study.

Content and Formatting Rules:

Introduction, body, and conclusion

5-7 pages, double-spaced; this does NOT include the Reference or Works Cited page.

5-7 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources

APA or MLA citation style with appropriate APA title page or appropriate MLA heading

Reference list (APA) or Works Cited page (MLA)

Submit to Blackboard

In-text citations

Literature Review Grading Rubric

Content and Citations (100 points)

This component will assess how well the writer adheres to the structural format of a literature review, including number of SCHOLARLY sources, adherence to APA or MLA formatting and citation rules, Reference or Works Cite page, in-text /parenthetical citations, adherence to page limit (your literature review should NOT be fewer than five or more than seven pages) etc.

Synthesis and Identification of Gaps (125 points)

This component will assess how well the writer synthesizes and summarizes the sources, including detailed comparisons and contrasts among sources. Also, this component will assess how well the writer identifies gaps in the literature and outlines future areas of study.


Grammar/ Mechanics (25 points)

How well does the assignment adhere to the grammar and mechanics rules related to Standard American English (SAE)?


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