Literature Review Chart


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This resource includes a Word template for students to organize their research and thoughts in the process of developing a five-source mini-literature review. Students asked to write a literature review for the first time typically struggle to move beyond "book report" style writing and toward literature synthesis. The template builds on a chart developed by the library at California State University--San Marcos ( to help students identify key elements from the literature, but goes beyond it to help students locate the common ideas among their sources and use these common ideas to develop a conception of what is known and what is not known in the prior literature. The resource has been used in undergraduate and graduate research methods courses in sociology and psychology but would also be appropriate for courses in sociological writing, capstone courses, or any other course in which literature review, research proposal, or grant proposal assignments are used.


Resource Type(s):
Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur, Rhode Island College 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Class Level:
College 300 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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I have used this resource in the context of a 300-level research methods course focusing on research design and data collection and enrolling sociology, justice studies, and psychology majors. Students are asked to identify a topic, locate five scholarly sources (primarily peer reviewed journal articles) related to their topic after...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
Students will be able to articulate the themes or concepts shared in common across a body of scholarly literature and use these ideas to draft a competent mini-literature review.
Assessment 1:
After completing the template included in this resource, students should be asked to draft a 2-3 page literature review. A rubric for evaluating literature review drafts is included.

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Literature Review Chart.rtf
Literature Review Assignment.docx
literature review Rubric Detail.pdf