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SPCH U301 - Theories and Principles of Human Communication: Assignment

Literature Review Project

Students will conduct a literature review of peer-reviewed communication research. The literature review must focus on a given theory (e.g., cognitive dissonance, critical race theory, etc.), and include a review of a specific body of research (e.g. leadership, social media, race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.). Essays must be 4-6 (individual) or 8-12 (collaborative - no more than 3 students) double-spaced pages. Individual projects must discuss a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed journal articles and cite 5 additional sources. Collaborative essays must discuss a minimum of 8 peer-reviewed journal articles and cite 7 additional sources. See pages 4-5 above for writing and formatting instructions. Note, collaborative essays must-read as a unified team effort. Additive projects will not work for this project. Do not exceed page limitations. Use the APA reference manual for formatting and style instructions. A revised reference list must be attached to the essay.

  • Topic selection- Select and explain why a topic is important for you and communication research.
  • Theory paper – Write one page discussing the theory you will use to explore your topic. Identify, define, and explain the theory you will use. You must discuss the theory’s major premises. Explain why the theory is the best tool to use to understand your topic.
  • Reference List – Prepare and submit a reference list of the research articles you hope to discuss in your paper. You must use APA formatting guidelines. Your reference list must include at least 10 peer-reviewed journal articles. The due date is listed on the course schedule.
    • Note: You will revise and resubmit your reference list to include suggested changes and to include the literature you actually discuss in your final research proposal.  
  • Outline – You will submit an outline of your literature review. Your outline must include an introduction, body, and conclusion. See sample outline.
  • Final paper - Use your outline to organize your paper. Your paper must have an introduction, body, and conclusion. A formal literature review involves examining peer-reviewed academic research (scholarly journal articles and/or book chapters) on a given topic. A literature review is not just a summary of everything you read. It is a critical evaluation of the available literature in a given area of study and topic. A literature review addresses a research objective or problem by asking questions about the work at hand. For example: How do communication scholars study my topic? What theory are they using? What are their arguments? What new ideas are they posing?  What method are they using to study my topic? What do they say about future research on the topic? How are the various studies different or similar to other projects in the discipline?