The primary purpose of this assignment is to help you understand that the literature review is an integral part of any research project and how it lays the groundwork for the investigation you will do.
In Module 2, you will complete an annotated bibliography on a topic of your choice in which you will be required to find at least 10 sources of various types, write a short summary of the information found in each source, and write an evaluation of the source’s credibility, reliability, currency, possible bias, and usefulness with respect to your topic.
The literature review builds on the annotated bibliography. For the topic you chose for your annotated bibliography in Module 2, complete the following:
- Go through your annotated bibliography.
- Based on the information presented in your annotated bibliography sources (and others if needed), define a problem statement that, in your opinion, would be useful and practical for you to investigate.
- Organize your sources by sorting and classifying their findings in a meaningful way, always considering your original topic and problem.
- Write a literature review that would seem to offer the greatest potential for developing a good theoretical framework, using seven to ten references. All of these can be from your annotated bibliography, or you can use others in addition to those in your annotated bibliography.
- Develop the theoretical framework incorporating its basic functions as discussed in the text.
- Generate a set of testable hypotheses based on your research question and the theoretical framework.
Your report must contain the sections outlined below. APA formatting standards must be followed throughout. The paper does not have to be lengthy; perhaps 750 to 1500 words. The introduction, research question, and hypothesis statement sections should be short and succinct. Most of the word count in your report will be in the literature review and theoretical framework sections.
In this section, give a clear and concise statement of the problem. Briefly indicate why it is a problem, why you selected it, and why it is important to solve the problem. Use references as necessary to support your arguments.
This should be one of the longer sections in your report. It should summarize other work related to the problem you identified. It should identify important variables and document significant findings from earlier research.
This should be a brief section with a clear and concise statement of your question. It should be clear to the reader that your question is a logical outgrowth of previous research as summarized in your literature review.
This section applies to deductive research. It should be one of the longer sections in your report.
This brief section should contain a clear and concise statement of your hypothesis or hypotheses. The hypotheses should be a logical outgrowth of the theoretical framework.
Your report must contain a reference section that includes all sources in your paper. References must be in APA format.
You may find it helpful to outline your paper before you begin to write it. An outline helps you see the logical connections (or lack thereof) among the parts of the paper. Following is a suggested outline with a simple example:
- Introduction (setting up the discussion)
- The problem is … [people are carrying onto airplanes more and more luggage, resulting in delays in boarding and continued problems for flight attendants and gate agents]
- It’s important because … [the airline industry is vital to the economy; no one likes delays; customers must not abandon airline travel for other options]
- Solving it would result in … [improved customer experience, resulting in better economic stability for the airlines]
- Literature Review (what has already been ‘said’ in this ‘conversation’)
- Previous research in this area has shown …
- Ideas that keep coming up in articles and other sources are … [the desire to carry on is driven by several factors: security of personal valuables, convenience, baggage charges, fear of lost luggage and wait time at arrival airport]
- Pros and cons [how these sources support and/or contradict each other]
- Solutions explored so far include … [size and number limits, baggage fees, improved tracking of luggage]
- Summary of lit review findings (where we are now with this problem)
- Researchers seem to keep trying to … [find solutions focused on limits to plane’s carry-on capacity and reducing fear of lost luggage]
- Research Question (what new question/solution will be investigated)
- What would happen if … [customer time were the focus of improvement, specifically, if promptness of delivery to carousel at arrival were improved? How important is it to customers that their baggage arrive quickly at the pickup point?]
- Theoretical Framework (how the question arises logically from the literature review)
- The dependent variable(s) is/are … [delays in boarding, problems for flight attendants and gate agents, others….]
- The independent variable(s) is/are … [amount of carry-on baggage]
- Hypotheses (what testable speculations arise from the identified independent variables)
- Customers who are confident that their bags will arrive at the carousel for pickup within 10 minutes of exiting the plane will be more likely to check baggage rather than carry it
- Customers who value quick pickup of luggage upon arrival will be more likely to check baggage rather than carry it.
- A draft of this assignment is due in Module 3. Your instructor will provide you with feedback on your work and you will be able to revise it and turn in the final version in Module 5. The purpose of the draft is to give you an opportunity to get feedback from your instructor prior to writing your final version – the draft isn’t expected to be perfect. It will be graded and will count 5% of your final course grade. A good grade on the draft means that you submitted it on time, your instructor feels that you put good effort into it, and it addresses the required topics.
- The final version that is due in Module 5 will be subject to much more stringent grading criteria. That means it is possible that you could receive a higher grade on a draft than on the corresponding portion of the final complete proposal.