literature review  


Welcome to your second assessment! (This is not so bad now, is it?) Read each portion of the assessment carefully and see if the suggested resources can help you complete it.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.


For this assessment, you will write a literature review. Now that you have found resources related to your research question, the next step is to look further into how they relate to each other and shed light on your research question. Not only will you be writing literature reviews in some of your future courses at Capella, but these skills will also help you in your future career in whatever specialization you pursue. For example, as an addictions counselor, you might need to develop a treatment plan that is suited to a particular situation. You will need to turn to the literature to understand what is known and what is not about that situation. Using critical thinking skills, you can find themes and determine what course of action your treatment plan should take. Behavior analysts also rely on the literature to determine evidence-based practices when assessing, setting goals, and developing support plans for clients and students.


Complete the following if you have not already:


Resources: Starting Your Literature ReviewLiterature reviews are a critical component of scholarly research. Writing a literature review in your field is one of the most helpful things you will learn to do as a graduate learner. Every time you write a literature review, you gather, gain, and synthesize ideas from within your field. By doing so, you add to the depth of your knowledge.For this assessment, you will write a literature review on a topic of professional interest to you. This is an opportunity for you to explore research of interest to you and develop a deeper understanding of an issue. Review the following resources to gain an understanding of what literature reviews are and how to write them. The following resources will help you get started with your Literature Review and provide you with the tools to for completing the assessment:Assignment Types and Templates: Scroll down and choose the Literature Review tab for information on the process of writing a literature review.Reviewing the Literature: Explore this Capella Library guide for finding appropriate scholarly literature for a literature review.Literature Review Template [DOC]: You will need to use this template when writing your paper.Literature Review Worksheet [DOC]: Use this worksheet to help you work through the process of identifying themes in your research and synthesizing the articles into your Literature Review.Review the Literature Review Assignment Exemplar [PDF], which provides an example of a Literature Review.Select a TopicChoosing a research topic is not a trivial matter. While a great many topics in psychology may be of interest, when you put forth the time and effort to research and write on a topic, it is best to focus on one that will help you learn more about your specialization area and one in which you have a professional interest.Complete the following steps to select a topic relevant to your area of specialization in psychology:Read through the home page of the Psychology Library Research Guide. This guide will be available throughout your program. Take time to browse the topics. Scroll down to the Suggested Specialization Topics section for topic ideas, and select the ones that are most interesting to you and relevant to your specialization.Review the Topics section of the American Psychological Association website for supplementary ideas relevant to your psychology vision and goals.Review the Improve Your Topicpage of the Library Research and Information Literacy Skills site for additional explanation and resources to help clarify the steps for selecting a topic and locating articles.Consider the following questions to explore further ideas if you have not yet found any inspiring topics: Can you remember an experience in your personal or professional life that you did not understand or would like to explore further?Have you read anything in a textbook or a course reading that you wanted to learn more about?Have you observed anything unusual or intriguing recently (on television, online, in the newspaper, or in your job) that piqued your curiosity?Rank the ideas you came up with and select the most important topic to pursue during the course. Keep your list of unused topics for future courses. You will have many opportunities for research throughout your program.Formulate a Research QuestionOnce you have chosen a topic for your Literature Review, your next step is to formulate a single clear, concise, and specific research question related to the topic. The question should not be so narrow that it is difficult to research, nor too broad or multifaceted that your research task seems endless.Use the four Ws—who, what, where, and why—to think about how to define and narrow your area of inquiry:Who: Define the population you are concerned with in terms such as age, ethnic background, special characteristics, or other factors.What: Focus on a particular issue (such as violence, family issues, or poverty) that the population is facing.Where: Determine a specific type of setting where the issue would be observed, or where an intervention would impact the target population. Private practice, clinic, school, or others?Why: Identify the possible benefits of this research.As an example, if your topic is adolescent depression, your research question might be: “What biological factors are associated with adolescent depression?” Try to state your research question in a single sentence that you will answer in your research and writing.

Resources: Library Research SkillsLearning how to find credible information and apply it to a problem is a critical skill used in nearly all areas of life, but such skills are particularly essential for your professional and academic development. This assessment will require you to find scholarly articles on a topic of professional interest to you.Go to Capella’s Library Research and Information Literacy Skillssite, which introduces you to the four main research and information literacy skills. Review the content on the following pages: Find Scholarly & Peer Reviewed Sources.Improve Your Topic.Get Critical Search Skills.Think Critically About Source Quality.Capella University LibraryAs you delve into research and literature related to your interests, the Capella University Library is an invaluable tool for locating high-quality research in psychology. As you learned in the University Orientation Seminar (UOS), the library pays for more than 70,000 online journals, 190,000 e-books, and 1.7 million dissertations, selected specifically for Capella learners. For instance, you have access to the PsycINFO database, published by the APA. This database includes over 2.6 million records, 98 percent of which are peer-reviewed content, and many are full-text versions of articles.Take some time to explore the Capella University Library. One helpful introduction is Tour the Library. If you have not already done so in your orientation, take a moment to view this guided tour. It will familiarize you with the Capella library and how to use it for your coursework. Specific to psychology, the Psychology Library Research Guide covers the top psychology resources.

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