What is a literature review?

Sociological research has the potential to reduce inequality. Sociological research can highlight to what extent inequalities organize or society and/or highlight circumstances that can reduce inequality. For this assignment, you will choose a social issue that is important to you and write a 4-5 page literature review that builds upon your previous assignments (bibliography and literature maps). You are required to cite 5-8 sources scholarly sources. Sources should be documented with in-text citation and a bibliography in ASA format should be provided (note: this does not count towards your page limit).
Turnitin will be used for this assignment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a literature review?
A literature review is a survey of scholarly articles, books, and other sources such as dissertations and conference proceedings that are relevant to a particular topic. A literature review has a specific organizational pattern that combines summary (a recap of information) and synthesis (a sketch of connections). The main objective of a literature review is to provide your audience with an overview of what the experts in a particular field say. In completing a literature review you will:
Survey the literature in a particular area
Synthesizes information
Critically analyzes information
Presents information in an organized manner
How is a literature review different from an academic research paper?
A literature review is often a component of an academic research paper. The literature review is intended to summarize and synthesize existing research whereas a research paper contributes new and novel ideas to the existing body of knowledge.
How do I start?
Choose a topic related to social inequality. Topics can include but are not limited to income and wealth inequality, gender inequality, sexuality, health and well-being, criminal justice. Consider the extent to which your topic of inequality organizes our society and/or the conditions which can reduce your topic of inequality. You might also begin by imagining that you work for a non-profit seeking to secure funding to reduce a social inequality.
Next visit the resources at the FSU library. Visit the sociology LibGuide at http://libguides.uncfsu.edu/sociology (Links to an external site.). The library has subscriiptions to many databases that you may use to complete keyword searches relevant to your topic. You may also complete keyword searches related to your topic on Google Scholar.
How do I choose which sources to use?
First and foremost, you want to ensure that you are using scholarly sources (see the attached guide on distinguishing between popular and scholarly journals (Links to an external site.)). Next, you can begin by readings the abstract of articles you’ve identified. You can also ask yourself the following questions:
Is it accurate?
Is it complete?
Is it up-to-date?
Is it supported by strong evidence?
Is it clearly relevant to my topic?
How do you synthesize information?
You can begin to synthesize information by looking for patterns and developing themes. Pay attention to things such as common findings, major debates or findings that are contested, the most influential theories being used; gaps or directions for future research. A good way to begin synthesis is to write a one or two-sentence statement that summarizes the major trends and developments you’ve noticed during your reading.
Where do I go if I need more help?
Please visit office hours schedule an appointment to meet with me. You may also visit these resources:

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