Literature Review Section

Literature Review Section of Final Paper


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All students are required to create a 6-page minimumliterature reviewof your topic.

Literature Review Format should include

  1. The History of your Topic
  2. Discuss what is known about this topic, this could be outlined in different ways including:
    1. Theme 1
    2. Theme 2
    3. Theme 3
    4. Theme 4
  3. Strengths and Weaknesses of the arguments presented and suggestions
  4. Theoretical Construct that applies to your research question
  5. A “lead in” that introduces your study


  • The paper requires a bibliography page or list of reference page, in APA You must cite at least 5 scholarly references. (A scholarly reference is a book or journal article written by a psychologist, sociologist or anthropologist or another academic practitioner.) Textbooks, encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines are not considered scholarly articles. *You can use news stories to enhance your argument or to underline the issue you are discussing, but this cannot be the primary source of information for your paper.


The following will be considered when evaluating your paper:

  • 1- Did you understand the important criminological theories, concepts, and issues?
  • 2-Does the author adequately and effectively use evidence to support your argument?
  • 3- How creative is the author? (introduces new ideas, integrates material in an innovative way?)
  • 4- Is the paper well written in regarding to clarity, grammar, proper citation and spelling?
  • 5- Is the paper well organized?


Paper Format- Double spaced, 12- point font with 1” margins

*Note, if you do not use citations, you are plagiarizing. If you plagiarize you will receive a failing grade.



Literature Review:

In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries

Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas

  1. information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books
  2. critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.

A literature review must do these things

  1. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
  2. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  3. identify areas of controversy in the literature
  4. formulate questions that need further research




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