You’ve chosen a key research topic in your major, and located 10 scholarly sources on it.
Now your task is to make a generalization based on your findings, determine a focus, and develop a research question based on your annotated bibliography. You should write your literature review as if it’s the first stage of a project you might develop further, since you will also be developing a Research Proposal on this topic later.
Your literature review should resemble the sample below, which shows how an NIU Research Rookie developed her literature review on the problem of the school-to-prison pipeline.
Similar to the sample below, your literature review should have the four following sections:
- A background section describing how the problem or controversy has developed, and why researchers in your major define it as a problem or issue (supported by research citations).
- A description of how significant/serious the problem or issue is, and whom affects most (supported by research citations).
- A brief “objectives” section where you identify the research questions you would like to answer about this problem or controversy
- A discussion of how researching this problem or issue would help you in your major and future profession
Don’t forget to include a bibliography page listing 6-8 sources in the appropriate disciplinary format!