Component #2 – Literature Review (4 pages)
Literature Review: Combine what researchers have found on your topic. What researchers believes, disagree on, similarities, etc. This is the basic understanding as to what has been stated about your topic. You examine within your journals different methods/ research designs that the research developed to prove or answer your thesis question. A perfect way to set up this section is take articles that have similar methods and compare them to each other. Again, try to find methods that you would like to use in your own study. For example, if you plan on conducting a randomized experiment find articles on other randomized experiments and discuss their strengths and weakness.
A literature review is a review of what other researchers have found on your topic. Literature reviews are found in the beginning of most journal articles. In order to have a well compiled literature review, you will need at least (5) journal articles. Some great examples of journals are:
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.
Journal of Criminology: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal of Crime and Delinquency: Sage
Criminal Justice and Behavior: Sage
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment: Sage
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology: Northwestern University School of Law
British Journal of Criminology: Oxford University Press
Journal of Research in crime and Delinquency: Sage
Journal of Quantitative Criminology: Springer
Punishment & Society: Sage
Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Sage
The Elements of a Literature Review:
A brief overview of the topic at hand, different issues that other researchers have found about the topic, or explaining the use of different theories under consideration.
Sometimes block format is used where the writer explains those in support of a certain position and then a paragraph of those against, even offering an alternative position can be useful.
Explaining the similarities and the difference of the research can be useful. It is very important to explain the variations of what different researchers have found about your topic. This allows the reader to see what has already been stated about your topic and therefore can help develop a path to where you the writer wants to take your topic.
A few important points to remember about a literature review, is that one sentence may cite several sources. Throughout this section you are combined what the researchers have previously found. Therefore, you need to incorporate more then one author per paragraph.
For each of the (5) journal articles (Note: you do not need to format your other resources this way as they may be supplemental in nature, e.g. provides statistical information):
Variables (Dependent and Independent)
Type of Design:
How this article relates to your design:
Walfield (2008) and Clarke (2010) have cited very interesting information on the topic of wrongful convictions. Although they both believe that wrongful convictions are not a product of the crime control model their reasoning behind their beliefs differs… (THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE) (Please see attachment with real literature review examples). A simple explanation is to take different articles and compare them and contrast them, again explaining what has been cited about your topic.