A literature review is a critical description of the scholarly writings on a given topic. Its purpose is to evaluate what has already been written and to identify areas needing further study. If you were writing a formal research paper, the literature review would also provide background for your own study and demonstrate what contribution your research would make to the field.
Assignment Learning Goals
The purpose of this assignment is twofold. First, it is designed to introduce you to LIS databases and other information sources and get you started on your information community research. Second, the assignment will teach you the basic format and style of a scholarly literature review and give you experience writing one.
Using LIS databases and other pertinent information sources, locate 10 to 12 secondary sources about Nu Skin information community (Nu Skin is a direct-sales/MLM enterprise). At least 8 of these sources must be scholarly, peer-reviewed studies (books and articles) of your community’s information behavior and needs. The remaining sources can be professional or popular in orientation but still must provide useful data regarding your information community.
The literature review (excluding the reference list) should be a minimum of 2,000 words in length, double spaced, and in APA format. It should contain the following components:
Introduction. Identify your information community (Nu Skin) and explain the significance of studying the information behaviors of this group. Describe the general nature of the literature and note the topics that will be covered in the review.
Review of writings. The body of the literature review should provide a synthesis and critical analysis of the published research about Nu Skin information community. Your discussion should address the following points:
Who has written on the topic?
Are the articles professional or scholarly in orientation and how would you compare the two types of writings?
What subtopics or themes have been covered?
What, if any, schools of thought have developed?
Are there are any controversies within the literature?
What approaches or methodologies have been used?
What weakness, biases, or gaps exist?
For each of these points, be sure to provide concrete examples from the books and articles you’ve located to support and illustrate your points. Don’t forget to give parenthetical references for every author or publication mentioned in the text.
Conclusion. In your final paragraph summarize your findings regarding the literature on your community and discuss areas needing further study.
The reference list should be in APA format and include all sources referred to in the text. The items should be arranged in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Entries should be double spaced and formatted in hanging indent style.