Skip to main content

Senior Seminar -- Sociology and Criminal Justice: Writing a Literature Review

This guide is designed for students completing the senior seminar in fall 2017 under the direction of Dr. Ann Marie Popp.

Writing in the Social Sciences: Literature Review

Literature reviews are designed to do two things:

1) Give your readers an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic or research question. 

AND

2) Demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of study, in this case, sociology.

Unlike annotated bibliographies which are lists of references arranged alphabetically that include the bibliographic citation and a paragraph summary and critique for each source, literature reviews can be incorporated into a research paper or manuscript. You may quote or paraphrase from the sources, and all references to sources should include in-text parenthetical citations with a reference list at the end of the document. Sometimes, however, an instructor may require a separate literature review document and will have specific instructions for completing the assignment.

Driscoll, Dana Lynn. (2010). "Social Work Literature Review Guidelines." Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/666/01.

For more illustrative examples and general guidelines for developing a literature review, check out the Purdue OWL's Social Work Literature Review Guidelines page.

Writing Literature Reviews