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Literature Review


                 Literature Review was once the burden of M.A. students and Ph.D. students alone. However, as time has gone on, they are also a part of most Capstone projects as well. Sometimes, though, they are assigned as “stand alone” projects for final papers.  

          A Literature Review can be arranged thematically or it can be arranged according to field of research, and occasionally people ask to have them done in chronological order. Usually, most instructors want to see a synthesis in the paper so that it is not just a choppy and sloppy Annotated Bibliography.  

          Occasionally, an instructor or assignment sheet will confuse an Annotated Bibliography with a Literature Review. That is why it is very important to read the instructions and pay attention to details.  

          However, if you are an M.A student, an M.B.A. student, or a graduate student of any kind, or and ABD working on your dissertation, these papers are VERY important! They are the beginning of your final project and should be done before you even write your introduction. Why? The reason for this is because it provides valuable information about the topic you have chosen to study like what the experts have already discovered, what people agree upon, what they disagree upon, and what the latest “hot topics” are in your field. By doing this part of your project first, the rest comes fairly easy.