Ommunication 207Literature Review Assignment , Relational dialects”

COM 207 Mini-Literature Review Assignment
150 points possible

Due: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 DUE

Assignment objective: The final paper for this class is designed to enable you to synthesize some of the research conducted around a particular topic and/or theory. It is meant to provide a coherent and comprehensive treatment of the research that you read this semester in COM 207.

You will do four things in this assignment. First, introduce your topic and its importance to the field of communication. Second, you will a?synthesizea? the previous communication research on your topic/theory. Third, you will write a conclusion that will evaluate the research you reviewed and suggest future directions communication researchers might take in exploring the topic. Fourth, somewhere within the paper a preferably within or after the introduction a you should explain for your reader the theory(ies) used to frame and conduct research on your topic.

Writing a Literature Review

The process of writing a literature review includes finding, reading, and evaluating current research on a specific topic or theory. In this assignment, you will be required to include the following sections in your paper: 1) Introduction; 2) Theoretical Discussion; 3) Synthesis of Scholarship; and, 4) Conclusion.

1. Introduction
This part of the paper that establishes the purpose and significance of your literature synthesis. It should include the following:
a. Creative title for the topic
b. Attention getter
c. Rationale. What is significance/importance of topic youare covering to communication scholars, practitioners, and/or the general public.
d. Areas of research you will be investigating, including the specific topic and the overall thesis or theme for the literature review
e. Preview of following sections
g. Transition to the next section of the paper.

2. Theoretical Discussion
At some point in your paper, preferably in or after the introduction (though it may be woven through your synthesis of scholarship, or it may even make sense to include it in the conclusion), you should clearly articulate the paradigm and theoretical tradition from which your research was drawn. Specifically, you should provide a brief description of the dominant theory(ies) used to undergird or conceptually frame research on your topic, including the primary assumptions of that theory. You might, for example, describe the goals of the theory and its treatment of communication. How researchers theorize a topic influences the ways in which the study and create knowledge about that topic. This section makes those theoretical assumptions clear. You may draw upon Griffinas text in this section of your paper.

3. Synthesis of Scholarship
This is the body of your paper. The literature review varies a great deal depending on how much specific information there is on the topic youare studying. As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this section is to summarize what is known about the research or the theory that interests you. This review will also provide the evidence for the evaluation and suggestions you will put forth in the conclusion.

a. Finding, summarizing and coding research: Locate the most applicable studies to your topic and pull out of each piece the ideas that are more useful. The Coding Sheets will be invaluable for this purpose. The body of your final paper will cover research relevant to the variables or issues being studied. The best studies are those that link the specific variables or issues that interest you. If there are many of these studies, you can restrict the synthesis section solely to them. If there are only a few, you should provide a more general overview of what is known about each variable or issue and then focus in some detail on the studies that examine them together. If there are no studies about the relationship between variables or issues you are investigating, review what is known about each of these variables or issues separately and then make the link between them yourself throughout the paper and in the conclusion section.

b. Introduce the literature review by pointing out the direction (organizational scheme) in which the review will proceeda see a?ca? below. Establish the organizational scheme for this section. A good organizational scheme provides the framework to write a coherent explanation of the literature review, leads to helpful transitions between studies, and shows relationships among studies more clearly. DO NOT write a literature review that takes the form of , a?Hereas one study, hereas another study, and, oh, hereas another.a? This will not result in an interesting paper or a very good grade. Rather, structure the review so that studies are presented in an organized and coherent package that flows smoothly from one idea to another.

c. The following are potential organizing schemes/orders:
Topical: organized by main topics or issues, emphasizes relationship of issues to main concern or problem.
Chronological: organized by historical progression in terms of time.
Problem-cause-solution: organized so that the review moves from a problem to a cause to a solution.
General-to-specific: examines broad-based research first then focuses on specific studies that relate to topic.
Known-to-unknown: examines current literature about problem then identifies at the end what is still not known.
Comparison-and-contrast: shows how research studies are similar to and different from one another.
Specific-to-general: tries to make sense out of specific research studies so general conclusions can be drawn.
d. Transition to the next section of the paper.

4. Conclusion
In this section, you will evaluate the literature you reviewed and suggest directions for future research. Your evaluation might address both the strengths and the limitations of the research studies you reviewed. Your suggestions for future work might include new topics or different theoretical frames as means of addressing questions extant work fails to address. Finally, close the paper with a concluding sentence or two so the reader is not a?left hanging.a? This can be linked directly back to the introduction addressing the importance of the topic or the attention getter with which you opened the paper.

Important Considerations:
It is your responsibility to identify fully, honestly, and accurately all the research referred to in your paper. This disclosure takes the form of references, a complete and accurate list of all sources cited in the paper. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. If you have questions about how to cite references either on your references page or in the body of your paper, please refer to the APA web-site listed on your syllabus.

Form your paper should use the following:
a? APA format
a? At least four references from communication journals, but you may use additional references
a? A more formal than informal style; no contractions, no colloquialisms (slang), no gender biased language, and no grammar, spelling, or syntax errorsa Proofread!
a? Section headings (e.g., Introduction, Literature Review, Conclusion, References)
a? Transitions between sections to improve text flow
a? Explicitly stated organizational scheme such as one listed above
a? Coversheet with paper title, student name, course #, course section, date turned in
a? Numbered pages
a? 5-6 pages in length a not counting cover page & references
a? Typed, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1a? margins

Grading Criteria:
Introduction-20 points
Synthesis of Scholarship-75 points
Theoretical Discussion-20 points
Conclusion-15 points
APA Citations & References-15 points
Grammar & Style-5 points

Total 150 points