TOPIC: How have social media platforms made marketing easier for PR pros?
Your literature review should be 3, double-spaced pages, feature your evaluation of 8 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources, and include a reference list
Since a literature review is information dense, it needs to be structured clearly to ensure a
reader can grasp the key arguments underpinning your study in relation to that of other researchers. A good strategy is to break the literature into “conceptual categories” [themes] rather than describing sources one at a time.
To help frame your journal entries, here are the “five C’s” of writing a literature review:
Cite: keep the primary focus on the literature pertinent to your research problem.
Compare the various arguments, theories, methodologies, and findings expressed in the literature: what do the authors agree on? Who applies similar approaches to analyzing the research problem?
Contrast the various arguments, themes, methodologies, approaches, and controversies expressed in the literature: what are the major areas of disagreement, controversy, or debate?
Critique the literature: Which arguments are more persuasive, and why? Which approaches, findings, methodologies seem most reliable, valid, or appropriate, and why?
Connect the literature to your own area of research and investigation: how does your own work draw upon, depart from, or synthesize what has been said in the literature?
Literature reviews also benefit from a clear structural organization. Some helpful guidelines:
The introduction establishes the significance of your topic and gives a brief preview of the trends/themes you have identified in the scholarship of the subject.
The body contains more extensive information about notable similarities and differences, points of agreement and disagreement, patterns, trends you have discovered. Use topic sentences to introduce and clarify these relationships among the separate scholarly works you have examined.
The conclusion provides an overview of what is known and thought about the topic and what is left to explore.
You are not required to include a title page or abstract in your literature review.
These lit reviews pretty closely follow the structure above (intro, body, conclusion). In particular, notice how the writers structure the body of the lit review. They clearly identify major themes or arguments in the scholarship. Within each theme, they summarize the relevant sources (and sometimes point to specific details/claims, which they may later return to/cite in the actual research paper), but they also show how the sources agree/disagree or how an author/article might be building upon or departing from an accepted argument. So, it’s more dynamic than author A say, author B argues…you’re also showing the relationship between their contributions (e.g. building upon another’s argument, a line of departure, employing a new theory, etc.).
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