Literature Review: Your Bad Idea Topic

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Literature Review: Your Bad Idea Topic
Academic researchers in most disciplines are asked to complete a review of literature written about their research topic. (See https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/conducting_research/writing_a_literature_review.html) Remember, for your research in this course, you are a part of a community discussing a topic, searching for information relevant to the topic, taking a position, and sharing ideas or claims. Looking for primary and secondary sources is an important step in the research process.
The literature review should identify relevant sources and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the research available on the topic. Through your search for appropriate sources, you should uncover the most or least popular positions on the topic and determine where you stand on the topic. Your literature review should explain to the reader what the experts have to say about your topic. It should also mention any debates or disagreements.
Purpose: The purpose of the literature review assignment in this course is to encourage you to research your topic before you begin to write your Bad Idea essay. Your review should provide an overview of your topic and summarize the important and relevant sources related to your topic. If you have difficulty finding appropriate sources, you may consider changing your topic, meeting with me to discuss keyword search strategies, or going to Reese Library to meet with a librarian. Melissa Johnson is the Embedded Librarian for this course.
Organization of the paper: In the introduction, be sure to explain the topic. In the body paragraphs, you will mention the author and source and explain the argument and ideas of each source. Summarize and paraphrase ideas; do not include direct quotes. In the conclusion, you will wrap up your discussion and summarize your observations about the sources.
Sample Body Paragraph Organization
Topic sentence
Evidence: Source A summary. Source B summary.
Synthesis: Compare, contrast, or consider how the two fit into the conversation surrounding the topic.
Paper Requirements
3-page minimum length (not including the Works Cited or Reference page)
Title: Literature Review for ________________ [Insert a working descriptive title for your Bad Idea Essay]
Minimum of 6 appropriate secondary sources (More is fine). Your topic will determine the types of sources you need. However, I strongly encourage you to include at least 2 book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, or books. The remaining sources may be magazine or newspaper articles, documentaries, or other trustworthy sources. While I am not anti-Wikipedia or anti-encyclopedia, for the purposes of this assignment, do not use those sources. You might look at a Wikipedia entry to find sources; use the credible sources the authors cite at the end of the article.
Use in-text citation and document sources on a Works Cited or References page. MLA or APA.

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