Project 3: Synthesizing Multiple Perspectives in a Literature Review

Terms You Should Know

  • Literature Review: a review of relevant literature that identifies, evaluates, and synthesizes source information to discover the current state of knowledge on your topic through an organized pattern of delivery.
  • Current State of Knowledge: the evaluated findings across the broad span of literature that contribute to the current state of thinking on a particular topic.
  • Synthesis: a drawing of conclusions about the findings in your literature review; a combining of separate elements to form a whole.
  • Key Issues: the major points, themes, trends, intersections, and/or topics that are repeated across the scope of the relevant literature on your topic and that drive the content and organization of your literature review.
  • Thesis Statement: the central guiding concept framed in a sentence or two that notes what the current state of knowledge reveals about your research topic.
  • Alphanumeric Outline: a full sentence outline that follows this order: Roman numerals, capitalized letters, Arabic numerals, lower case letters, etc.

Overview

The project 3 literature review will help you become well informed on the multiple perspectives associated with your selected research focus through an analysis and synthesis of a variety of public and scholarly research perspectives. Your exploration of a wide range of sources will help you easily identify the intersections (key issues, sub-issues, major points, themes, trends, topics) within the sources’ arguments and the points where sources disagree. Writing your literature review will help you contextualize each source through its contribution toward understanding the current thoughts related to your topic of study.

Note: a review of literature presents much more than a summary of your six relevant sources. The act of reviewing literature involves evaluating individual sources as well as synthesizing arguments and drawing conclusions as to the current state of knowledge/larger conversation on your research topic.

Project Assignment Components

Project 3 has five parts that progress the literature review writing process:

  1. Recognizing synthesis of multiple sources by creating an outline as your early draft.
  2. Advancing your synthesis by writing the intermediate draft of your literature review.
  3. Enhancing your peer review skills by responding to your peers’ intermediate draft.
  4. Mapping your revision plan to make your literature review stronger.
  5. Finalizing your synthesis.

Each project component will target specific learning outcomes, describe the assignment, and identify the assignment weight and assessment criteria. Each project component will be introduced and supported by in-class activities and homework assignments. Project 3 is worth 30% of your final grade.