This assignment is the second step toward completing your final research proposal in Week 6. Drawing on your topic area, research questions, and hypothesis from Step One, develop a 5-6 page literature review, in addition to the Title Page and References Page, using between 5-7 scholarly resources, including mostly research studies related to your topic. Information should be drawn from scholarly sources (preferably within the past 10 years), such as professional journals, books, and dissertations.
Writing a literature review requires not only summarizing individual studies, but also involves an examination or evaluation of studies in relation to the topic or research area. Some common purposes of literature reviews include: identifying and outlining relevant and existing knowledge on a topic; identifying gaps in research; evaluating and synthesizing information available in line with your own research topic; justifying a rationale for your own research; and evaluating current research. The Mongan & Rallis (2006) website and Appendix A in the textbook will provide you with guidelines and examples regarding how to develop a literature review.
Your literature review should include the following (steps 1, 2, 4 and 5 will be from your Step One Assignment):
- Rationale/Problem Statement for the research topic of your choice: Explain your topic. Make a case for why this topic is important to the field of psychology.
- Research questions you have developed for your topic: Conclude your discussion of the research topic by identifying specific research question(s) about the relationships between two or more concepts. Use both the textbook and the Pajares (2007) website to formulate specific research questions.
- A 5-6 page literature review on the 5-7 articles you selected: Read your articles thoroughly and provide a literature review that synthesizes what was theorized and discovered about regarding your topic. Do not write separate “summaries” for each article; rather, find connected themes or relationships in the different areas you cover. Use these relationships to frame your discussion of how variables were indicated, samples were obtained, and research designs were constructed. Are there any gaps or weaknesses present in the literature that can be investigated further? You will not necessarily refer to all the information from each article; instead, relate only that which is relevant to your topic and research question. Thus, your literature review should justify your study and support why conducting your proposed study would answer a problem that is not already well understood.
- Hypotheses that you want to test: Considering your research question or statement of the problem, formulate a hypothesis that states the relationships between the variables and answers the research question. Remember that hypotheses make statements or predictions about something that may be true. Thus, they are hunches or intuitions about what the study’s results may show about the variables being tested.
- Dependent and independent variables: Operationally define the dependent and independent variables for each hypothesis
**Remember that your literature review in your Final Research Proposal will need to be a minimum of 8 pages, so please be sure to continue working on this section during Weeks 3-6