NHS 8050 Assignment Critical Review of the Literature – Final Paper

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NHS 8050 Assignment Critical Review of the Literature – Final Paper

NHS 8050 Assignment Critical Review of the Literature – Final Paper

For this assignment, submit your final paper, a critical review of the literature.

Use the instructor and peer feedback you received on the draft paper you submitted in Unit 6 to help improve your work for this final submission.

For this final paper, complete the remaining sections (Recommendations, Conclusions, and References) you did not complete for your draft. This paper synthesizes your work on all of your assignments in Units 3, 5, and 6 into one final paper. Include your evidence table with a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed resources as an appendix to the paper.

Assignment Structure

Your final paper must include the following sections:

Title page.

Abstract.

Introduction. (3–5 paragraphs.)

Describe the topic you investigated.

Provide a brief background of this topic.

Explain why this topic is suitable for a professional doctoral project as opposed to a PhD research project.

Discuss a potential sponsoring organization that would be interested in the investigation of this topic.

Methods. (Methodology and search strategy used for literature search.)

Databases searched.

Key search terms used.

Number of articles accessed and number of articles used for the paper.

Critical Review.

Compare and contrast peer-reviewed articles and sources in your evidence table.

Provide analysis and synthesis of the articles.

Recommendations.

A clear statement of possible solutions found in the literature related to the topic.

Specific planned actions of how this information will inform your future work on this topic.

An evaluation of the appropriateness of this topic with a possible sponsoring organization.

A description of possible next steps for use of this topic.

Conclusions.

Summarize and tie together all the information. (3–5 paragraphs.)

References.

Appendix: Evidence Table.

Critical Reviews and Literature Reviews

◘ The main ideas or arguments in the book or article. Don’t feel you
have to mention everything: part of being an effective evaluator is
being able to extract the most important ideas from a source.
◘ Your own evaluation of the book or article. Don’t just accept the
author’s statements without question. Ask yourself such questions
as: How effective is the author’s argument? Is it clearly presented
and explained? Is it biased in any way?
A critical
review is
not just a
summary.
1. First, read the assignment carefully. Your instructor may ask, for instance, that
you read the book/article in the context of concepts you have covered in class, or
that you focus on specific aspects of the book in your critical review. You can
use this information to help guide your reading.
2. Before you begin reading, look at the title, as well as the chapter titles or article
subheadings, to get an idea of what the author will focus on. You might start
forming ideas about what you expect the book/article will say, and then, as you
read, decide whether the book/article fulfills your expectations, or whether it
leaves important questions unanswered.
3. Read actively. You might want to skim the book/article first, and then go back
and take notes (remember to copy down page numbers!). You’ll have two main
purposes in your reading. Your first purpose is to understand the author’s
argument (what the author is trying to show, and the steps he or she takes to
prove this argument). Your second purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of
the author’s argument. Make note of anything that’s confusing or unclear.
Write down any questions you have (pay particular attention to questions that
seem important, but that the author doesn’t address).
What does a critical review include?
Reading a book or article for a critical review:
UMKC Writing Studio
816.235.1146
writingstudio@umkc.edu
www.umkc.edu/writingstudio
Writing a Critical Review:
There’s no specific format for critical reviews (for instance, you might choose to summarize and then
evaluate, or you might choose to combine these two aspects), but your essay should include the following
components:
1. Introduction: Your first paragraph should familiarize your reader with the book/article you will
discuss, as well as with your own evaluation of the book. Mention the book’s title and author, and
provide a brief overview of the author’s argument. Then give your own argument about the
book/article’s effectiveness (this is your thesis). Be specific – give the main reasons for your
evaluation of the book/article. (If your assignment also asks you to place the book within the
context of larger issues, your introduction should also mention important connections between the
book and these other issues.)

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2. Summary: Use this section to familiarize your reader with the author’s argument. Explain the
author’s stance on the topic, and the main points he or she makes in order to back up the argument.
Describe the author’s conclusions about the topic.
3. Evaluation (Critique) of the Article or Book: This is the most important section of your essay.
Remember, you’re not writing about whether you agree with the author or not; rather, it’s your job
to decide how effective the author’s argument is. Here are some criteria you can use to decide:
i. Is the writing clear? Does the author’s writing style make his or her argument clear,
or does it create unnecessary confusion?
ii. How strong is the author’s argument? Do the author’s main points back up the
argument effectively? Is the argument logically organized?
iii. Are there indications of bias? Does the author mention all sides of an issue, or does
he or she leave out important counter-arguments? What do you know about the
author? Is there anything in the author’s background that might have caused bias?
iv. What are the author’s sources? Are they reliable? Does he or she use
predominantly one type of source? Are the author’s sources appropriate to his or her
argument?
v. Which aspects of the author’s argument do you find most convincing? Least
convincing?
*Remember to be specific. For instance, if you feel the author’s writing is unclear, explain why.
You might give an example to demonstrate your point to the reader. If you feel the author’s
argument is not convincing, provide reasons for your evaluation.
4. Conclusion: In your conclusion, you will restate the main points of your evaluation (you don’t
need to restate your summary of the book or article). The conclusion is also an opportunity to give
your overall evaluation of the book or article. You could also offer final comments on such aspects
as the book’s contribution to the field, or possibilities for further research.
Writing a Literature Review:
A literature review is a type of critical review in which you analyze and evaluate many sources on a
specific topic. The purpose is to provide your reader with an overview of the research that has been
done on your topic, and to evaluate the sources you are reviewing. You will probably include less
detailed information on each source than you would in a critical review of a single book or article.
Instead, you will focus on the most important points relevant to your topic.
As in a critical review, you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of the authors’ arguments. You’ll also point
out areas where much research has been done, as well as areas where more research still needs to be
done. It’s also important to compare sources with each other, pointing out where they agree or
disagree with one another. Remember, you also need to provide an evaluation explaining which
authors’ writing you find more persuasive, and why.
Finally, you will draw conclusions from your findings, describing what the literature as a whole
suggests about your topic. Remember to take into consideration your evaluations of the relative
effectiveness of the different authors’ arguments. If there are important aspects of the topic that have
not yet been fully researched, you might not be able to reach definite conclusions. If this is the case,
you can discuss why more research is needed.
Sources consulted (the Writing Center has these books):
Lunsford, A., & Connors, R. (Eds.). (1995). The St. Martin’s
handbook. (3rd Ed.). (Annotated Instructor’s Edition). New York:
St. Martin’s Press.
Pan, M.L. (2003). Preparing literature reviews. Los Angeles:
Pyrczak Publishing.
Rosen, L.J., & Behrens, L. (Eds.). (1992). The Allyn & Bacon
handbook. (Instructor’s Annotated Edition). Boston: Allyn &
Bacon.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center. (n.d.). Critical
reviews. Retrieved July 13, 2004 from
http://wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/CriNonfiction.html
Virginia Tech Department of History. (n.d.). Writing an article
review. Retrieved July 13, 2004 from
http://www.history.vt.edu/UDGArticleReview.htm
← See pp. 709-11 for a
sample literature review
← See pp. 170-90 for three
sample literature reviews
← This site includes a
sample first page of an
article review

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