Summer Introduction and Literature Review Assignment Guidelines

What should an introduction do in a research paper?

• It should catch the reader’s attention with a brief attention getter • It should give a brief overview of all sides of your topic • It should end with a roadmap to the rest of your paper

• It should be written in the 3rd person perspective.

What should an introduction NOT do, or what should you avoid doing when you write your paper introduction?

• It should not contain your opinion about the topic. In fact, for this class, when your professor reads your introduction, she should have no idea which side of the topic you personally prefer. Don’t give your opinion overtly (i.e. “I do not think this side of the argument is right or fair, etc.) or subtly (i.e. “People who think this way are ignorant”). Both ways let me know which side you support. That is not what you are doing here. You are presenting both sides, and not making an argument for a particular one.

 

• Because this is to be written in the 3rd person perspective, it should not contain “I”, “me”, “my”, “us”, etc. You will say things like, “this paper will present the results of a survey”, instead of “I will present the results of a survey”. Remove yourself and write as if you were observing the paper do things without you.

 

What is a literature review and what should it do?

 

• A literature review tells the reader what other people have said about your topic.

 

• It also informs the researcher (you) of the knowledge that is already out there on your topic.

 

• It should contain information that comes from a source. If you cannot site it, you cannot put it in this section.

 

• It should ONLY contain information that comes from a source other than yourself.

 

What should a literature review NOT do, or what should you avoid doing when you write your literature review?

 

• It should not reintroduce your topic. You already did that in your introduction. It should just have a heading and then you should jump right in.

 

• It should not contain your opinion. Do not pass judgement on the things that other people say. I know it is tempting, but just share what they said about your topic, cite it, and move on.

 

How should this assignment be formatted? • All of the following are

 

REQUIRED, if you want full credit for this assignment: o The introduction and literature review together, should be 2 – 3 pages in length. o The assignment should be double spaced throughout. o This assignment must be in TIMES NEW ROMAN, 12 pt font. This is mandatory as it is the most commonly accepted font in social science research. o There should be a separate, additional, reference page. o The reference page and all in-text citations should be in APA citation style. o A minimum of five outside sources are required. Those sources can be academic (journal articles from the library, books, etc.), government (anything with a .gov website), major national news sources (NBC, ABC, FOX, a local affiliate, or a city newspaper), or they can be from a major polling source such as the Gallup Poll. o No cover page is required at this time. I do not even need your name at the top of the page. Because you are turning this in via Blackboard, you can just write “Introduction” at the top, and write that, then on the next line, type “Literature Review” and write that. o This MUST be turned in as a Microsoft Word file. If you do not have Word, it is available for free to you through the university website. If you need help finding that please contact the IT helpdesk and they can get you going on the download. I give detailed comments and track changes on all assignments, that will help you on your final paper, and I cannot do that in any other file format.

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