The Literature review is expected to be in proper APA format (you do not need to include an abstract, but the paper does need a cover page and reference list). The literature review must be between 5-10 pages in length, and incorporate at least eight (8) academic resources. The topic should be a contemporary criminological theory found in Chapter 14 or Chapter 15 of the assigned class text.
The literature review should present, summarize, and synthesize current research on a selected theory. The paper should be written in a clear, concise, and impartial form. The literature review should be a collection and presentation of information on your chosen contemporary theory to an audience.
The goal is not to argue or convince the audience to agree with the writer’s point of view. Information presented in the paper should be a clear and honest presentation of the research on the selected theory.
Information expected in the literature review includes a clear and detailed explanation of the theory, current research on the theory, instances when research may be mixed, and possible reasons different studies have different findings, possible weaknesses in the current research, practical implication of the theory in the criminal justice system, and the paper should conclude by the writer communicating the direction research should go in regards to studying the theory (what else needs to be learned about the theory through more research?).
Students will present the research papers to the class.
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Magazines and newspapers like Sports Illustrated and The New York Times contain articles written by journalists with the goal of selling magazines and newspapers.
Scholarly journals contain articles by experts about their research findings with the goal of informing students and other researchers.
The above handout will help you know whether the articles you find are from scholarly journals or popular magazines.
Some key characteristics will help you distinguish between research and review articles. A research article is describes an experiment that attempts to solve or address a very specific problem/issue. These articles always contain the standard sections:
Abstract - This is a brief paragraph description of the inner-workings of the article. The abstract allows scholars and scientists to ascertain what the article is about in just a few seconds.
Introduction - This section states the purpose of the article, defining the problem and putting it into context. It may include a review of the published literature on the topic.
Review of literature - This section is usually located just after the research description. The review summarizes the results of other experiments that have been done in the past.
Method - This section contains a detailed description of the approach the researchers have taken to test the idea, problem, or issue.
Results - The Results of the experiment or test is explained after the Method description.
Discussion or Conclusion - This is where the researchers interpret the results of the experiment or test and create meaning.
The research article always ends with a "Bibliography" or "References" or "Works Cited" section.
This interactive tutorial (hosted by NCSU Library System) illustrates the components of a journal article: