Provide a brief overview (e.g. 2-3 sentences) of your research topic and its significance and/or relevance to applied social work practice.
Assignment Four: Literature Review
The primary goal of this literature review assignment is to identify research studies that are applicable to the general research question and overall research design that you have started to develop in prior discussions and assignments. In conducting your literature review, you should focus on researching the intervention that you previously selected based on the assumption that it will be beneficial for the specific client population you have identified.
Follow These Instructions
You will critically analyze a portion of the published body of knowledge on a research subject by identifying, reviewing, and comparing prior research studies.
As with all scholarly research, you will need to identify published articles—and more specifically, for the purpose of this assignment, professional academic journals—as your sole source of information. Ideally, use peer-reviewed journals whenever possible (which is not always an option). Generic informational websites, news articles, and other informal or non-scholarly sources will not be accepted.
You can access appropriate scholarly articles through the “Library” tab on the horizontal menu of your WNMU Mustang Express account. Look for the square “Research” button (next to the blank search field), click on it, and select the “Advanced Search” feature on the right-hand side of the purple banner. Use the various fields provided (e.g., use the “Search Scope” pull down menu and select “Articles”) to narrow your search using keywords author, title, subject, etc. You can also use Google Scholar first, to identify potential articles, and the WNMU Miller Library Advanced Search feature second to obtain copies of the articles. Whatever you do, however, don’t pay for articles out of pocket!!! If you are not able to download a free copy of an article through the WNMU Library portal you can often access it using the “InterLibrary Loan” tab on the main Library menu. It usually takes a couple of days to obtain an article through InterLibrary Loan (since a librarian is personally tracking down the information on your behalf) but it allows you to obtain articles you would not be able to access otherwise. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact a WNMU librarian with any questions you may have—look for the “Ask A Librarian” header under the Research header on the main library page—they are very knowledgeable and love to assist with research!
You will need to identify and cite a minimum of FIVE published studies.
When you conduct a literature review, you become familiar with the current theory, research, and body of knowledge on a topic. You should not provide a loosely related collection of studies. You should provide a tightly focused summary, analysis, and synthesis of current research that relates to the specific client population and intervention you have selected.
Although a literature review is structured like an essay, and is often similar in length, there is a critical difference between the two: in an essay, you often argue a specific point of view, whereas, in a literature review, you analyze the current research in order to better understand what is known about a particular topic. In other words, a literature review is an objective, critical summary of published research literature that is relevant to the topic you have selected.
As a general rule, your research studies should have been published within the last decade (give or take a few years). In some cases, older studies are still relevant if they are considered to be seminal works on the given subject; if you use an older study include a justification for the use of this original, significant, or historic source in your review.
Make sure to include the following sections:
I. Introduction: Provide a brief overview (e.g. 2-3 sentences) of your research topic and its significance and/or relevance to applied social work practice.
II. Search Process: Describe how you searched for your scholarly articles–specifically, how did you go about the search process, which database(s) did you utilize, and which keywords were the most effective.
III. Body: Make sure to review articles individually. Summarize the information from each of your articles that are directly relevant to your research topic by writing a minimum of three distinct paragraphs for EACH of your articles. Provide the following information in each paragraph:
Paragraph One: State the purpose of the study.
Paragraph Two: Identify the research question and methodology that is utilized in the study.
Paragraph Three: Summarize key results and implications of the study.
IV. Conclusion: Draw personal conclusions from what you have discovered in the literature.
In other words, answer the following question: what have you learned?
Also, briefly describe how conducting this literature review shaped and/or changed your thinking about your approach to your research project?
V. References: Your literature review must include a complete list of references with accurate in-text citations for each reference in the body of your paper.
Make Sure to Use APA Format
Format your paper using APA style guidelines. Make sure to provide appropriate citations, references, headers, and formatting. The page length should be enough to address and describe each of the sections of the paper. Use 12 point font for the main body of the paper.
You will receive the following points based on the clarity of your thought process and writing: up to 20 points for spelling, grammar, mechanics, and use of APA style; up to 30 points for Section III; up to 5 points each for sections I, II, IV, and V.
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Also, here are some additional considerations that are provided from Appendix B: Writing Research Proposals (Rubin & Babbie, 2016) in your textbook. Note, I have revised and adapted the wording in several sections of the text in order to make the information more congruent with your specific assignment for this class.
Your literature review should be thorough in informing readers about the study’s topic, yet not so long and detailed that it becomes tedious.
You will be required to identify, describe, and cite a minimum of five research studies that are related to your area of interest and the overall design of your research study.
Do not cite monotonous, minute details about numerous studies—especially if the body of existing literature is extensive. If the literature is extensive, concentrate on the most recent findings, while also including any “classic” studies that may be relevant (when applicable).
Focus only on those studies that have direct relevance to your research proposal. And even when you focus on the most relevant literature, you should report only the most relevant aspects of those studies.