A literature review is a qualitative assessment (or an analytical survey) of what has been published on a particular topic by scholars and researchers. The purpose of a literature review is NOT to create an original argument and support it with scholarly research (this is the typical college research paper assignment), but instead to summarize and evaluate the available research in the field to assess the value of the research already done by other scholars. In addition to providing you with the most up to date information on a particular topic, field, or issue, writing a literature review helps you develop and demonstrate two valuable skills: 1) academic research and the ability to be able to scan academic sources efficiently to identify a set of useful articles and/or books and to obtain those materials, and 2) Critical Evaluation and the ability to apply skills of analysis and research to identify useful and valid sources and studies.
For your literature review, select a topic that is related to oil and politics. You can either choose a theme/issue topic such as oil and conflict, oil and democracy, oil and social change, oil and education, oil and religion, oil and globalization, etc., or you can choose a topic that deals with oil and a particular country such as oil and Russia, oil and Mexico, oil and Iran, etc. If you choose the latter (country-based topic), you CANNOT select the same country as presentation. Once you have chosen your topic, identify at least nine (9) closely related articles in scholarly journals on the assigned topic. Since our interest for this assignment is to find scholarly sources, your information sources must NOT include editorials or opinion pieces or any Google-based sources. Instead, your sources must come from the following databases: Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, Social Sciences Full Text, Project Muse, LexisNexis Academic. To receive consideration for full credit for the assignment all students must attach the first page of the sources reviewed in an appendix for the instructors’ reference.
A literature review is very similar to a formal academic writing so it should include:
• Introduction: in this section you should define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern you have selected, thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature. Make sure you explain in the introduction why you have chosen this topic and why is it significant to research in the field in general.
• Body: in this section, I would like you to summarize all the articles you have selected separately. For our purpose, a summary should present the basic findings or theoretical arguments of the article at hand. Although a summary will never be able to cover every point made in an article, your reader should be able to see in a summary all of the major points of that article and even the implications or context of the particular data or information given. Focus on providing as much information in as concise a fashion as possible, using space wisely and quoting only when absolutely necessary. At the top of the summary please include the full title, author’s name, and bibliographic information. EXAMPLE:
Skinner, Q. (1988). Social meaning’ and the explanation of social action. In J. Tully (ed.), Meaning and context: Quentin Skinner and his critics. Princeton: Princeton University press.
Then it must analysis the articles that you summarized
• Conclusion: in this section you should evaluate and assess the current body of knowledge reviewed in general terms, pointing out major methodological flaws or gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.
Technical requirements: Your paper should be typed, double-spaced using 12-point lettering (no huge fonts, please–Times New Roman recommended). The paper should be stapled or paper-clipped in the upper left-hand corner. Choose one documentation style (MLA, APA, or Chicago-style notes) and be consistent throughout the paper.
Academic Dishonesty: from the CLA Bulletin
The college has defined academic dishonesty as any act that involves misrepresentation of your work. It includes, but is not necessarily limited to plagiarizing, which means misrepresenting as your own work any part of work done by another; submitting the same paper, or substantially similar papers, to meet the requirements of more than one course without the approval and consent of all instructors concerned, or interfering with another student’s work.
“Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as if it were one’s own.
Examples of plagiarism include the following:
• Copying another person’s work either word for word or making some changes but keeping the structure, much of the language, and main ideas the same. Even if the work is not published, it should be treated as someone else’s work and not one’s own work.
• Buying, borrowing, or otherwise obtaining and handing in a paper, project or course assignment as if it were one’s own.
• Turning in someone else’s paper as if it were one’s own is strictly prohibited, even if the paper is enclosed in quotation marks. A large part of a paper cannot simply be quotations.
• Allowing someone else to edit, rewrite or make substantial changes in one’s work and turning it in as if one had done it all, without acknowledging the other person’s contribution and without prior permission of the instructor.
• Using someone else’s words or ideas without crediting that person.
– If a student uses someone else’s words, she must identify them by putting quotation marks around them and citing the source.
– If a student downloads a picture from the Internet, she must cite the source of the picture.
– If a student paraphrases someone’s work, she must specify the source of the statement.
– Every source used in a paper must be identified in the bibliography.
At any time, if a student thinks she may have unknowingly plagiarized someone’s work, she
should discuss it with her instructor before turning in the assignment.”