Sustainability (and such)


For COMM 3005 students, or anybody else going down this road:

What: It’s a review of the scholarship relevant to your project. For the reader, it’s a road map that brings them through what’s already been done (previous scholarship) and what you’ll be working on. This helps prove your credibility and shows how your ideas fit into the existing body of scholarship.

For this class: So that writing isn’t so isolated, everybody will work in teams of two or three on your literature reviews. This means you can freely share writing and resources for that section of your individual research proposal, but will still turn in your own work for the remaining sections: Introduction; Context of Study; Methodology; Proposed Analysis; Study Limitations and Potential Ethical Considerations; and References (APA).

1). Decide your subfield from this list. You don’t have to have the same one as your partner: research-subfield-groups-fall-16

2) Learn more about the literature review. It’s a well-organized review of relevant theory and literature that seamlessly sets up your research question(s). Think about this piece bringing your reader along a scholarly path; for instance, go back to articles you selected for your project pitch and notice how they add definitions and models for areas of study they’re using for their project.  Those are the subjects you’ll include in your lit review so your reader knows what areas, theories, frameworks, etc. you’ll use. I suggest looking at the articles you’ve already collected and see who/what is included in their project. (Pssst…remember to keep a running list of your resources already formatted as APA!)

3) Now start searching. Most of you did this for your annotated bibliography, and now you can narrow it down and keep what’s useful.  What key terms are needed to show previous scholarship about your subject?  Nothing about your research methods go here; instead, focus on what supports (or argues against) your research question. Include the heavy-hitters who are leaders in that idea or framework, as well as recent conference papers and articles. Note: Yes, use our annotations, but a lit review isn’t that simple listing of resources; instead, flesh out the ideas in academic writing, as discussed in class.

4) Example:  Here’s a team piece I worked on while in grad school:  Masculinity as Political Strategy: George W. Bush, the “War on Terrorism,” and an Echoing Press. sample-article-coe-et-al-2007  And here’s one part of our lit review that I’ve marked up to show topics that are covered in a specific order: sample-lit-review-from-previous-article

5) Now figure out the order you’ll use to bring your reader along.  In most cases, you won’t go wrong by starting with the landmark cases (such as campaigns and media, or campaigns and rhetoric) and include some of the basic theorists you studied in other classes, such as Gramsci (hegemony), Lippman (barriers to communication), Grunig (definitions of publics), the agenda-setting and diffusion theories, etc.

6) Next, get more into specifics about your individual topic.  Again, what’s already been said about your topic? And how will you add to this discussion?  Some people like to make a map while others like to plunge in…your choice.

7) Time for your draft. Have you included everything your reader needs to know so that you’re now able to focus on your work? Remember to take out all mentions of methods, or first-person references or experiences.  And give it another once-over through spell/grammar check, and add your references, before our peer review!

8) One more review. Does it meet the criteria for our research proposal project? A well-organized review of relevant theory and literature that seamlessly sets up your research question(s).

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