Referencing Style: APA
Instructions: Select four academic journal articles about the topic you selected in Unit 6, (“Identifying a Research Topic”). Write a review of the four journal articles. Your review must
• provide a summary of current and relevant studies about your topic; and
• Identify and critique any flaws in the literature.
Use the following steps to arrive at a research topic that interests you. You will use this topic for your Literature Review assignment at the end of this unit and, if you wish, you may also use it for your Research Proposal and Research Project assignments.
Coming up with a research topic can be a challenge, but following these steps can help make the process easier:
1. Write down social-science-oriented topics that are personally relevant to you (see our text Mastering Digital Research). A topic may be related to a personal experience, something you have read about in a newspaper or on the Internet, or discussions with friends and family. As Neuman and Robson point out in Basics of Social Research, “a topic must be about social patterns that operate in aggregates and be empirically measurable or observable” (p. 63). This means that the topic of choice must be based on social patterns instead of a single individual’s experience. Identifying a research topic may involve writing down several topics and refining them before making a final decision.
2. Consider a title for your study that is not longer than twelve words (Creswell, 2003). The more focused the title, the easier it will be to research.
3. Pose the topic as a question (Creswell, 2003). Phrasing the topic as a research question helps to stay focused on a specific question that needs to be answered.
• The literature review must be double-spaced, in 12-point font, with standard 1.25-inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right.
• The literature review must have a cover page with the title of the assignment, your name, and your student ID.
• Visit the Write Site for detailed information about APA style.
• Submit your work using the assignment link in Moodle.
• Students who do not follow these guidelines will be penalized.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct prohibited by Athabasca University’s regulations, and these regulations also set out sanctions against offenders. Plagiarism occurs when a student uses the words or ideas of another person without giving proper credit.
Evaluation Sheet for the Literature Review Assignment
Students will be awarded full marks if they address all the requirements in each section of the essay.
I. Introduction (5 points)
Provide an overview of the assignment.
II. “Body” (70 points)
Summary and critique of four academic articles (50 points)
Demonstration of relevance to your topic (20 points)
III. Conclusion (5 points)
Summarize what you have attempted to do in the review.
IV. Format (20 points)
In-text citation and reference (10 points)
Structure and organization (10 points)