Literature Review – Guidelines
Each individual student will be responsible for writing their own literature review based on their research project. This review is designed to put your research in a larger context. You should locate 2 recent articles (within the last 10 years) discussing similar topics to your project. These can be found from the following sources:
- Reliable online content. This includes major newspapers (New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal), major magazines (National Geographic, Discovery). If you aren’t sure about whether a source qualifies as reliable, email Dr. Lukowiak and check. If you use a source that is not reliable, you will receive a zero on this part of your review!
- Peer-reviewed scientific articles. You can search for these through several websites under the Publication section on the webpage listed below (I recommend JSTOR, PLOS Biology and ScienceDirect). Just add keywords (i.e. garlic and Candida) to search through available journals. Most are free (especially the newer ones). Make sure that you are choosing articles that have been published within the last 10 years.
Your review should consist of 2-3 pages (1.5 space, 12-point font). Your review should take the following format:
- Introduction: 1 paragraph introducing your research project topic. Provide a brief background, and your motivation for the experiment. Be sure to include your hypothesis, a brief experimental overview, and a brief summary of your results. This paragraph may be similar to your Introduction for your poster.
- Article Summaries: 1 paragraph for each article. Summarize the articles IN YOUR OWN WORDS, focusing on aspects that are most relevant to your research project. Quotations should be used only when absolutely necessary (i.e. you cannot paraphrase the statement). If you “summarize” your articles by using long quotations, this will result in a zero on this section.
- Synthesis: 1 – 2 paragraphs discussing how the results of your research project fit in with other work that has been done on this topic. In other words, connect your research to the information found in the 2 articles that you read. You should end with some type of concluding statement(s).
- References: All references must be cited with APA or MLA style, both in the text (either author-year, or by number) and at the end of the literature review in a references list. Do NOT paste in html links.
If you are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, or how to properly cite sources, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you plagiarize your literature review, you will be given a score of 0 and will be referred to the administration for appropriate disciplinary action. Literature Reviews will be checked for plagiarism.