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Publication Date

6-2018

Access Type

Open Access

Department

Sociology

Course Number

SBS 200

Context of Activity or Assignment

This assignment is the final project in my SBS 200 course. The literature review project was scaffolded through previous coursework on reading social scientific journal articles, identifying their arguments, and summarizing them; placing two scholarly articles in conversation with one another; and locating and analyzing multiple popular journalistic sources.

Purpose of Activity or Assignment

Students should learn to develop a social scientific research question; distinguish scholarly from non-scholarly sources; locate and evaluate relevant scholarly literature; and synthesize multiple scholarly sources.

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips

Teaching students to synthesize multiple sources can be especially challenging. I strongly encourage students to identify relevant themes across two or more sources, and structure their literature reviews around these themes.

It's especially important to communicate the purpose of a literature review, and its role in an original research project. Students often want to find a clear answer to their research questions, and are frustrated when the literature review does not accomplish this. However, when students understand that original data collection and analysis are usually necessary to answer a research question, they may be inspired to pursue this research through further coursework, undergraduate research opportunities, and/or a capstone project.

Activity / Assignment Type

Writing

Additional Activity / Assignment Type

Research

Institutional Learning Outcome

ILO 1: Intellectual Skills

GE Area

A1

Duration

Month Long

Final Deliverable

Research Paper

Literature Review

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