Issues in the Foster Care System

Assignment #3: Literature Review


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Purpose: The purpose of the literature review is to inform the reader of the current state of the research in your discipline on your selected topic (Issues of the Foster Care System), synthesizing sources chosen from the prior assignment (annotated bibliography). This assignment requires you to be able to summarize major points of the articles as well as to critically evaluate them to identify gaps/flaws/limitations.

Audience: Fellow researchers in your discipline who are familiar with the topic but who would like to learn more about the published research. Because your audience is familiar with the topic, that means you do not need to define terms or include other information that the audience could reasonably be expected to already know.


Step 1. Your research topic should be the same as those you chose for Assignment #2. The annotated bibliography was designed for you to learn about the literature in your discipline that you would then draw on for this assignment, so changing topics would make the prior assignment of little to no use to you for this assignment.


Step 2. For Assignment #2 you cited and annotated 8-10 academic and/or professional journal articles. For this assignment you must use at least 5 of those sources; if you choose not to use all of the sources from the annotated bibliography then base your selection of sources on representativeness of the literature, diversity in perspective and/or methodology, and cohesiveness. If necessary you may substitute or add source material; however, before doing so consult with me to ensure changes will be appropriate and beneficial to your paper.


Step 3. Consult your annotated bibliography and sources to identify patterns in their arguments, disagreements, and gaps/flaws/limitations. You will use this information to help you structure the assignment, and we will also complete a planning exercise referred to as a “synthesis matrix” to help you outline your specific paper. In addition, the “Literature Review Organizer” article provides guidelines regarding how to organize content that may be useful to you.


Format: The literature review will take the form of a typical essay (in contrast to the annotated bibliography) and should be approximately 5-8 typed and double-spaced pages (the required title page and reference page(s) do not count toward this requirement, no need for an abstract), conform to formatting guidelines (12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, proper heading, etc.), and use APA style.


Assignment #3: Literature Review Rubric


1. Purpose : ___________

· Does the writing feature a clear, original thesis that is maintained and supported throughout and that states the author’s observation on the current state of the published research on his/her selected topic?

· Does the writing effectively summarize and synthesize the required sources to identify common themes as well points of disagreement between/among them?

· Does the writing effectively analyze the required sources to provide well-supported evaluations of the research, identifying gaps/flaws/limitations?

· Does the writing effectively integrate the required sources and demonstrate that the author understands the sources he/she is citing?


2. Evidence/Development :______________

· Does the writing provide sufficient information/evidence from the selected required sources to support the thesis about the current state of the research?

· Does the organization of the writing focus on patterns/themes across the sources rather than on individual sources?

· Does the organization of the writing effectively enable the reader to follow the progression of the author’s ideas?


3. Research/Exploration : ____________________

· Does the writing demonstrate the author has selected relevant and valued sources in his/her academic discipline (and/or professional field, with instructor permission) to inform the reader about the current state of the research on the topic?

· Does the author ethically integrate the selected required sources?

· Does the writing demonstrate the author has selected sources that provide a range of perspectives on the topic that is the focus of the research?

· Does the writing demonstrate that the author has thoughtfully reflected on the significance of the selected sources and the current state of knowledge on the topic?


4. Audience:____________

· Does the writing demonstrate that the author is aware of his/her audience and has made sufficient efforts to maintain formal, academic tone and diction appropriate to the genre and audience?

· Does the writing demonstrate the author understood the intended audience for the selected sources?

· Does the author consistently and confidently demonstrate his/her credibility throughout the writing, presenting himself/herself as a reliable source of information about the research in his/her discipline on the topic?


5. Process __________

· Did the author actively and effectively participate in all process work activities assigned inside and outside of class?

· Does the writing demonstrate the author thoughtfully reflected on peer/instructor/Writing Center consultant feedback to improve the essay?


6. Conventions and Mechanics : __________________

· Does the writing follow Standard English grammar, punctuation, and usage guidelines?

· Are all citations (in-text and bibliographic) and the bibliography correctly formatted according to APA style?

· Is the title page correctly formatted according to APA style?

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