Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
Welcome Colleagues to the final paper of the semester. This paper will be a literature review
over a topic related to religion/spirituality of your choosing. At the end of the article, I have
some examples listed to hopefully inspire you (if you don’t already have something in mind)
Literature reviews are syntheses of what is already known about a given area. You do not make
an argument here telling me the way you think things ought to be. Rather, literature reviews are a
place for you to be inquisitive and find out what others have already found. The introductory
paragraph should tell us what you are looking at and why you are interested in it/think it is
important. Then the following paragraphs will be the lit review itself.
A good lit review is fairly short. You are taking lots of information in and distilling it to its core.
You do not need to go into hyper-specific details about the topic. If you had only a few minutes
to tell me what you found is important about that subject, what would you say? What examples
would you give? Speak in the first person and tell us what you found to be important and why. If
there is dissenting opinion, tell us about that and why their finding is different.
A bad literature review gives too much detail and treats articles as though they are separate from
one another like: “Article 1 by Fong and Jeung 2016 found 6.7% of divorced people…. Article 2
by Davidson and Park (2018) surveyed 1502 people in the US and found a mean age of 48.6
(standard deviation of 3.1) in the sample. They then found….” This is too much detail and
simply reporting what an article found rather than synthesizing the material to tell us overall
what was important.
You can (and should) have times where you are citing multiple articles in a single paragraph,
especially since some of the articles will have similar results. Let the findings drive paragraph
structure, not one paragraph article
Basic Paper Parameters-
– Times New Roman, 12 Point Font
– Double Spaced
– 1-inch margins
– Upload to Canvas when complete
– Minimum 8 academic peer-reviewed academic articles.
– ASA/APA Citation style
– 4-7 pages written prose (that means not including title page or references)
– Send me short descriiption of what you are studying and at least 4 references for approval
before writing the review itself
– Uploaded to Canvas by the due date
See the additional handout for tips and more information on how to correctly do lit reviews
and how to do proper ASA citations.
Find at least 10 quality peer-reviewed articles using your terms.