You are required to write a 3-page (minimum), double-spaced Review of Literature (ROL) on an
instructor-approved topic related to the course. The ROL is an academic paper following APA writing and
citation guidelines. The paper includes a critical analysis of the relationship among different works
(articles). You must use at least 10 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles to build your ROL.
The general purpose for writing a literature review is to critically analyze and summarize the published
knowledge related to a specific narrowed topic. Most reviews summarize, classify, and compare and
contrast the information found in peer-reviewed journal articles. A well-written ROL should identify the
thought leaders in the given field as well as present a clear idea of what is known, not known, and still
needs to be known.
You will find that with timely, current topics that the discussion is still being debated by authors and researchers.
The final paper must adhere to APA 6th edition writing style and format, including title page, abstract and
citation page (references). It must be a minimum of 3 pages, double-spaced, and reference at least 10
scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.
Similar to primary research, development of the literature review requires four stages:
• Problem formulation—which topic or field is being examined and what are its component issues?
• Literature search—finding materials relevant to the subject being explored.
• Data evaluation—determining which literature makes a significant contribution to the
understanding of the topic.
• Analysis and interpretation—discussing the findings and conclusions of pertinent literature.
Literature reviews should comprise the following elements:
• An overview of the subject, issue, or theory under consideration, along with the objectives of the
• Division of works under review into categories (e.g. those in support of a particular position, those
against, and those offering alternative theses entirely).
• Explanation of how each work is similar to and how it varies from the others.
• Conclusions as to which pieces are best considered in their argument, are most convincing of
their opinions, and make the greatest contribution to the understanding and development of their
area of research.
In assessing each piece, consideration should be given to:
• Provenance—What are the author’s credentials? Are the author’s arguments supported by
evidence (e.g. primary historical material, case studies, narratives, statistics, recent scientific
• Objectivity—Is the author’s perspective even-handed or prejudicial? Is contrary data considered
or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the author’s point?
• Persuasiveness—Which of the author’s theses are most/least convincing?
• Value—Are the author’s arguments and conclusions convincing? Does the work ultimately
contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject?
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(Derived from material created by UC Santa Cruz University Library. Used with permission.)
Statement on graduate-level writing requirements
Your writing reflects your ideas and communicates your understanding of the topic to the instructor. This
assignment will be graded on the composition elements listed below, as well as your understanding of
Successful graduate-level writing should demonstrate
• Proofreading skills
• Correct grammar and punctuation
• Logical organization
• Proper content presentation (introduction, body, conclusion)
• Correct formatting for citations, references, and headings
• Correct and consistent use of APA style and formatting
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