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Research Paper

1500-2000 Words (Excludes Works Cited page)

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This research assignment emphasizes research and will be especially critical of the scope of your sources and how well you represent research information (in-text citations).


Literature Review

This assignment asks you to perform a literature review of a specific kind of text/topic, to continue the course’s theme of the world being a text. A literature review gives a brief history or overview of scholarship or professional writings on a specific topic, highlighting the most significant contributions to the development and advancement (increased knowledge) of said topic. “Literature” in this case does not mean “literature” in the traditional, literary sense, but rather it means “major/important writings.” “Review” in this case means “overview.” It is important for you to know that a literature review not only summarizes the major writings of a specific topic but it also provides a critical analysis of these writings and explains their relationships to one another.



Again, researching on GALILEO is required. Do not research on the World Wide Web, only on GALILEO. You must compile 7-10 major writings on your topic, which means you must have 7-10 sources. Your sources must be academically appropriate and fall within the range of credibility, reliability, and depth as discussed in class.

In-Text Citations

While I expect that the majority of your essay content to come from the literature you are reviewing, it does not mean that your paper can be composed mostly of quotations! Your summaries of the literature must be in your own words for the most part. You may quote sparingly here and there. Remember the 20% rule (for quotations)!!


Your literature review is made up of two parts: summary and critical analysis/ evaluation


Your summary of each source must reflect your understanding of our discussion of the essential elements of a summary. It must contain the writer’s name, text’s title, and a sufficient, effective summary highlighting key points/findings/contributions.


Critical Analysis/Evaluation

Following your summary of the text, you should explain its significance to the understanding of the topic. What effect does the article have on the field or the understanding of the topic? What unanswered questions did it help to shed light on? What myth, presumptions, or prejudice did it help to debunk or dispel? How did it make the topic to be viewed differently? What challenges or implications did it pose? What breakthrough did it accomplish, if any? How did it reshape, inform, or pave the way for future research? How did it build on previous research/knowledge? What were some strengths of the text? What were some weaknesses?



Your paper can follow this suggested structure.

Introduction – give context and background information for your topic, give an overview of your literature review (texts reviewed -thesis statement) You will not need to take a position on your topic.
Literature Review – review each text separately in its own paragraph in the order of publication (chronological order), the structure of your individual review paragraph can consist of a summary followed by a critical analysis/evaluation.
Conclusion – reiterate the main idea of your essay, give concluding statements about all texts reviewed and their significance, provide insightful final statements about the topic as it relates to the literature



Times New Roman font, 12-in size, one-inch all-around margins, and double-spaced throughout. For this paper, 1500 – 2000 words are about five full pages to eight pages long, typed and double-spaced. Adhere to the given word count. (excludes Works Cited page.) Point deduction will be applied to any paper falling short of the minimum page requirement.

***A Works Cited page must be included for consideration of credit.***



You are to choose an uncommon, controversial topic. Please inform the instructor through the class cyber cafe after you have done a preliminary search in GALILEO to see if you can find a minimum of seven (7) sources. Keep in mind that one of the main foci of this assignment is research. Research (and by extension your ability to recapture and analyze research information) is highly emphasized.

Avoid common much-debated topics such as abortion, gun control, gay marriage, freedom of religion, and technology. No exceptions.

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