Mini-Review of Literature Each student in EDCI 572 will conduct an abbreviated review (7-10 pages) of the literature that addresses a topic related to and appropriate for the topics addressed by this course. You may choose topics identified by the course text or one not addressed by the text but that you think worth addressing in a literature review To read more about how to create a review of literature, see “General Guidelines for Review of Literature” below. Mini-Reviews of Literature will be evaluated according to the “Mini-Review of Literature Rubric” posted to the course homepage. General Guidelines for a Review of Literature A review of literature is an account of what accredited scholars and researchers have published on a topic. The purpose of a literature review is to find, summarize, and synthesize the available research on a topic for three primary reasons 1) assess the value of the research previously done in the field; 2) identify trends in the research on the topic; and, 3) discover what research remains to be done on a particular topic. Reviews of relevant literature direct the formation of new research questions and are often included in the introductory sections of scholarly reports. A successful literature review is defined by a guiding concept such as a research objective or a problem or issue to be discussed or solved. A review of literature is not simply a descriptive list of materials available or a set of summaries, which is an annotated bibliography. In addition to helping a student become a better informed researcher on a particular topic or in a specific field, writing a review of literature improves three valuable skills: 1) the ability to efficiently scan literature to identify a set of useful articles, books, and electronic media; 2) the ability to obtain relevant articles, books, and electronic media; and, 3) the ability to apply appropriate principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies. Your task is to find, read, and compare research from scholarly journals and/or electronic media related to a specific topic in education. Your goal is to demonstrate an ability to understand recent education research and to synthesize what is currently known about a topic of interest. This type of assignment can be an initial step in the development of a research project that might lead to a terminal degree. Choose a discipline-relevant topic that is of interest to you. If you are unfamiliar with the discipline of interest, scan through some recent academic journals to help you identify a topic. Make certain that the topic is specific rather than general and that it is manageable in the timeframe available for completion of the assignment. For example, Internet access might be your general topic area. Do you want to focus on providing universal global access to this resource or providing equal access to the Internet to persons with disabilities? Both of these topics may be overly broad. You may want to further narrow the specific topic by focusing on women in third world countries of facilitating Internet access for persons with limited dexterity. Once you have narrowed your topic to a manageable scope, you will need to locate a range of materials published by experts in the particular area of study. One way to do this is to examine bibliographies for reoccurring names, which may lead you to the works of key researchers in the field. Scanning for titles of studies that are cited repeatedly can lead to influential texts in the area of interest. As you read the materials you collect for your literature review, do so with an eye toward writing a literature review. Effective literature reviews do the following: 1) Provide a tightly-organized investigation of a single thesis or research question by identifying key research on the selected topic; 2) Synthesize the results of previous research into a summary of (a) what is understood to be historically accurate or accepted practice, (b) what practices of policies are still under question or investigation, (c) what practices or policies have not been well addressed by existing research, and (d) what areas of the topic still require investigation; 3) Identify distinct areas of controversy among previous researchers/research results; and, 4) Devise questions that need further research. An effective literature review should encompass at least one major controversy in the specific topic area and explain the disagreement from at least two competing vantage points. Literature reviews in education follow APA style throughout and follow all conventions of written English as appropriate for college level writers. Academic literature reviews are typed, double-spaced, paginated, include normal margins, and use a non-script typeface in 12-point font. If you are uncertain about your topic and/or the amount of time it might take to develop a literature review for a particular topic, you might want to discuss your potential topic with the instructor before investing a great deal of time and other resources in the project
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