Literature Review Assignment

You have to pick one of the literature review papers from the earlier modules, read it, and use one of its major takeaways as a focal point of the paper such as “democratization instigated trade liberalization around the world”. There are instructions linked to the assignment. Then, you have to discuss what the literature you are reviewing says about that takeaway, and find at least 2 other sources which can be from those provided that also discuss this takeaway to discuss both sides of the argument and paint as full a picture as possible of the research available on this topic. Hope this helps. You have to pick one of the literature review papers from the earlier modules, read it, and use one of its major takeaways as a focal point of the paper such as “democratization instigated trade liberalization around the world”. There are instructions linked to the assignment. Then, you have to discuss what the literature you are reviewing says about that takeaway, and find at least 2 other sources which can be from those provided that also discuss this takeaway to discuss both sides of the argument and paint as full a picture as possible of the research available on this topic. Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Literature Review

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Literature reviews are different from research papers. Academic research papers are focused on developing a new argument. Research papers contain a literature review as one of their parts. As such, research papers utilize literature reviews as foundation for the new insight they plan to contribute. The aim of a literature review, on the other hand, is to analyze the thoughts and arguments of different researchers/experts in the field without adding new contributions to their research by discussing their research on a chosen notion.

Step 1: Review the literature already provided to you on blackboard. YOU NEED NOT READ EVERY SINGLE PAPER! Pick one that is of interest to you. Read through it and try to pull out a central idea that is common to this paper and some of the others you have read. What appears to you as a running theme in this field of research based on these papers? You can go two routes with this paper. You can focus on something that explains either why countries have pushed away from protectionism or the effects of protectionism. Example focus: “Trade liberalization has been instigated by democratization.” This focus should be a central theme of the main paper you are reviewing. This focus will also be the thesis of your paper.

Step 2: Select 3 sources from the research papers I have provided to be cited in Chicago format. Feel free to look for more if necessary. Just make sure they are research papers. Hint: Looking through the bibliographies of research papers you already have might help you to find more useful ones.

A literature review is usually structured around ideas provided throughout the papers. Consider how your thesis statement is addressed throughout each paper. Different research papers will either be in agreement or against the thesis statement that your literature review discusses.

Step 3. In the first body paragraph, you will have to summarize how your primary source arrives at the thesis statement of your paper. What are the reasonings provided for this idea? How did the writer come up with this conclusion?

Step 4: Next couple of body paragraphs – Do the writers across the different papers present one, many or different conclusions about your thesis statement? Example: Milner explains this many countries switched their political regimes to democracies before opening up their borders for trade while Franklin states that an autocratic country is just as likely to open up their borders based on his research. However, Franklin’s research only takes into such and such while Milner addresses factors a,b, and c. On the other hand, Franklin’s point might be legitimate because these autocratic states had other impetuses for liberalizing trade which are more convincing and could explain the transition of newly democratized states toward trade liberalization as well such as d, e, and f.

Step 5: Finally, is there an aspect of the field that is missing? How well do the writers present all the material? Do the explanatory variables they have been chosen seem to be logical determinants of a plausible conclusion regarding your thesis statement? Are there more logical explanatory variables that seem to be missing from their research? Why do these variables seem important? Is there any transitive element that appears to be missing in the research provided?

Example: Writer A provides examples A, B, and C as explanatory variables to arrive at conclusion Z about your thesis statement. List a possible element D, E, and/or F that none of the writers have considered.

Just to help you conceptualize your task a little clearer while writing this paper, imagine you are a food critic on Chopped! You have three cooks (writers) that are given the same ingredients (explanatory variables) to make a meal. Some of them create the same meal (same conclusion) while others use the ingredients to create another type of meal (another conclusion). One of the meal types will naturally be more appealing to your senses (more logical conclusion). Even between the 2 cooks that cooked the same meal, each of their meals tastes different, one better than the other. One of them added a delicious extra ingredient that brought out the flavor in their dish (provided more logical explanatory variable) but some of the ingredients were slightly overcooked (explanatory variables were not tested in the best way to be expressed in the research study. The other person salted their meal better, but used ingredients that had no connection to this meal (explanatory variables are poor indicators of dependent variable you are trying to establish if there is a causal link between). Finally, as a critic you are basically discussing how each person delivered their final product (your thesis) explaining the different types of ingredients that can be used to produce it according to each cook, how those ingredients are used, how effective they are, if there are missing ingredients, etc.

I don’t know if this actually helps, but it was worth a shot!

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