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SOWK 391: Methods of Social Research: Literature Reviews (Jarvis) [Fall 2020]: The Assignment

Assignment description

Methods of Social Research
Literature Review Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a review of the literature that currently
exists on your topic. The review must include a minimum of five research articles from
peer-reviewed journals that pertain to your topic. You will likely need to supplement your
literature review with additional materials (i.e., other journal articles on your topic). This
assignment also provides you an opportunity to continue mastering your use of the
American Psychological Association (APA) publication guidelines for proper citation of
The outline 1 to be followed for the literature review (each item should be addressed in
your paper):

1. Introduction to the topic and definition of key terms.
2. Establish the importance of the topic.
3. Provide an overview of the important literature on the concepts in the research
question and other related concepts.
4. Identify gaps in the literature or controversies.
5. Point out consistent finding(s) across studies.
6. Provide a synthesis that organizes what is known about a topic, rather than
just summarizing.

Articles should be published within the last five years and never more than 10
years old.

Research studies should always be referred to in the past tense as they
have already been completed.


1. Formatting requirements:
 Your paper should be double-spaced, in a 12-point size, using Times New
Roman font with pages numbered. Your paper should be 1,500 – 1,750 words
in length, excluding your reference page and title page.
 Follow the American Psychological Association (APA) publication guidelines
(7 th edition) for this assignment. Using the APA publication guidelines include
a reference page for all of the journal articles cited in your literature review.
NOTE: See Section 4.3, “Writing the literature review,” for more information about each of these

2 See information on the Good Library website on APA citation - and the free APA tutorial and
other resources/webinars found at

 Points will be deducted for citation, punctuation, spelling, or grammatical
 Papers submitted after the deadline will have a grade reduction. Submit your
paper via Word document attachment on the Moodle course page under
Turnitin, a tool that checks submitted papers against other papers and common
websites as a plagiarism deterrent.

2. Resources:
 Information about how to submit an assignment through Turnitin can be
found at

 Additional information about APA citation of sources can be found on the
Purdue OWL Writing Lab: .
 A good resource to use to avoid plagiarism is Goshen College’s Good
Library website, Writing Tools: Plagiarism found at .