You can see report writing as crafting a story about your research and your findings. Consider the following. During each section of your paper, you should be focusing on your story. Consider how each sentence, each paragraph, and each section contributes to your overall purpose in writing. Here is a description of one student's process. Briel is writing an experimental report on her results from her experimental psychology lab class.
She was interested in looking at the role gender plays in persuading individuals to take financial risks. After her data analysis, she finds that men are more easily persuaded by women to take financial risks and that men are generally willing to take more financial risks.
When Briel begins to write, she focuses her introduction on financial risk taking and gender, focusing on male behaviors. She then presents relevant literature on financial risk taking and gender that help illuminate her own study, but also help demonstrate the need for her own work. Her introduction ends with a study overview that directly leads from the literature review.
Because she has already broadly introduced her study through her introduction and literature review, her readers can anticipate where she is going when she gets to her study overview. Her methods and results continue that story.
Finally, her discussion concludes that story, discussing her findings, implications of her work, and the need for more research in the area of gender and financial risk taking. The introduction in an experimental article should follow a general to specific pattern, where you first introduce the problem generally and then provide a short overview of your own study. The introduction includes three parts: opening statements, literature review, and study overview.
Opening statements: Define the problem broadly in plain English and then lead into the literature review this is the "general" part of the introduction. Your opening statements should already be setting the stage for the story you are going to tell. Literature review: Discusses literature previous studies relevant to your current study in a concise manner.
Keep your story in mind as you organize your lit review and as you choose what literature to include. The following are tips when writing your literature review. Study overview: The literature review should lead directly into the last section of the introduction—your study overview.
Your short overview should provide your hypotheses and briefly describe your method. It provides a list of suggestions and examples. Literature reviews are designed to do two things: 1 give your readers an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic or idea and 2 demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of study, in this case, social work.
Unlike annotated bibliographies which are lists of references arranged alphabetically that include the bibliographic citation and a paragraph summary and critique for each source, literature reviews can be incorporated into a research paper or manuscript.
You may quote or paraphrase from the sources, and all references to sources should include in-text parenthetical citations with a reference list at the end of the document. Sometimes, however, an instructor may require a separate literature review document and will have specific instructions for completing the assignment. Below you will find general guidelines to consider when developing a literature review in the field of social work.
Because social work is a social science field, you will most likely be required to use APA style. Please see our APA materials for information on creating parenthetical citations and reference lists. Choose a variety of articles that relate to your subject, even if they do not directly answer your research question.
You may find articles that loosely relate to the topic, rather than articles that you find using an exact keyword search. At first, you may need to cast a wide net when searching for sources. For example: If your research question focuses on how people with chronic illnesses are treated in the workplace, you may be able to find some articles that address this specific question.
You may also find literature regarding public perception of people with chronic illnesses or analyses of current laws affecting workplace discrimination. Select the most relevant information from the articles as it pertains to your subject and your purpose. Remember, the purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate how your research question fits into a larger field of study.
Critically examine the articles. Look at methodology, statistics, results, theoretical framework, the author's purpose, etc. Include controversies when they appear in the articles. For example: You should look for the strengths and weaknesses of how the author conducted the study.
As the writer composes the literature review, he or she must construct an argument of sorts to establish the necessity of his or her research. Therefore, one of the key tasks for writers is to establish where gaps in current research lie. The writer must show what has been overlooked, understudied, or misjudged by previous studies in order to create space for the new research within an area of academic or scientific inquiry.
Galvan, Jose L. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, Graduate Writing Graduate Writing Genres. Literature Reviews The literature review, whether embedded in an introduction or standing as an independent section, is often one of the most difficult sections to compose in academic writing.
Organizing Literature Reviews Because literature reviews convey so much information in a condensed space, it is crucial to organize your review in a way that helps readers make sense of the studies you are reporting on. Book reviews typically evaluate recently-written works.
Readers sometimes confuse book reviews with book reports, but the two are not identical. Most often, book reports are a K assignment and range from to words. By contrast, book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. They typically range from words, but may be longer or shorter. A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it, and details on purchasing the book.
Before you begin to read, consider the elements you will need to included in your review. The following items may help:. As you read, determine how you will structure the summary portion or background structure of your review.
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