Hi, everyone,

In Week 5, you'll take a look at literature reviews (a.k.a., the synthesis of sources) in the "real world," and gain some practical advice on writing one. You'll watch a video about strategies for synthesizing sources in a paper. You'll also research three articles that feature a literature review, which will be the focus of your first discussion.

Your second discussion for this week will focus on helping you find categories for your synthesis essays (WA #3 and WA #4). 

In the third discussion, you'll also learn about "Spider Diagrams," a way to graphically plan out your categories for your synthesis. 

When you're done with your discussions, you'll submit your first draft of WA #3, the "Six-Source Essay."

Week 5, Discussion #1: Analyzing the results of three research studies

This discussion task is designed to help you analyze some research studies on the topic on which you will be writing WA #3.

To complete this task, you find three articles through UMUC's OneSearch that report on research studies.  Many scholarly articles are actually reports of the findings of a research study. For this reason it should not be difficult to find three such articles.  For example, if your topic is teleworking (which is a very general topic), you could easily find three studies on teleworking.  If your topic is white-collar crime, you could find three studies on the very general topic of white-collar crime.

After you find your three articles, please read over the three articles and complete the following for each one:

· list the source in APA format

· list key terms in the article

· describe the focus of the study

· describe the methodology the author used

· summarize the study's findings

· write your reflections on the article itself.  Comment on whether you found the study difficult to interpret, whether you understood the methodology, or other items that might be of interest to your fellow classmates.

This task will help you become more familiar with finding research studies on your topic, reading them over, gleaning the main points of them, and summarizing their findings.  These skills will be helpful as you continue to research for WA#3.

Week 5, Discussion #2: Developing Categories for the Literature Review


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In this discussion topic, we will explore some resources that are designed to help students understand the concept of a literature review. Please browse these resources and then complete the discussion post below.

· the article by Ted Zorn and Nittaya Campbell, "Improving the Writing of Literature Reviews through Literature Integration Exercise"


· -- this article is available in the e-reserves section of this class.  To access the article, please take the following steps:

· the tutorial from The University of North Carolina on writing literature reviews. https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/litreview/  

· the tutorial from UMUC's Effective Writing Center on writing the literature review.  http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/web/writ_synth.html

After reviewing the material on the Literature Review posted above, please return to your annotated bibliography and begin developing "categories" to help you to organize your sources. Post one category below and list several sources that might fill that category. Remember that some sources may fall into more than one category. Please feel free to post questions or concerns because your instructor wants to help you. Please respond generously to at least two of your fellow classmates.

Week 5, Discussion #3: Applying the Spider Diagram


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You can use a spider diagram to help you to structure your discussion of sources for writing Essay No.4, the synthesis of multiple sources essay (literature review). The spider diagram can also help in coming up with gaps and unanswered questions that you found as a result of writing it.

A spider diagram is a visual tool usually used for planning your writing. However, you can also use it for evaluating and thinking about a topic in detail.

To use the spider diagram, please print out your draft of writing assignment #4. Then place a piece of paper in front of you and complete the tasks listed below.

For more information on the Spider Diagram, please visit the link https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationadvice/9839678/Spider-diagrams-how-and-why-they-work.html

Write your idea/title/topic/thesis in the center of a piece of paper. Draw a circle around it. For the purposes of this exercise, you will use the topic of your Literature Review.

· Draw a "leg" from the central "body" of your Literature Review topic towards the top right hand corner of the page. Label this "leg" with the first topic/category that you dealt with in your Review.

· Add more legs moving clockwise around the page until all the sections have been included, with the final one being somewhere near the top left of the page.

· Now divide each "leg" up into smaller "legs" with all the points that you made in each section. (Again work clockwise from the top left so that the sequence of ideas is maintained).

· Finally, please be sure that one section is devoted to identifying any gaps or niches in the research literature in your synthesis of sources essay (literature review), or WA#3.

· You may have to redraw your spider diagram several times until you find a structure that works for you. Make sure that you find a proposal structure that suits the needs of your Niches and Gaps paper. Please post your spider diagram below.

· Respond to this discussion topic with one paragraph describing how this task might have helped you or why it did not help you in organizing your thoughts for WA#3.

Writing Assignment #3 The Six-Source Essay: Expanded Synthesis

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