ASA logo
Reviewing the Literature: What We Know About Vampires or Zombies
The moon illuminating several cartoon bats
Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF


literature review
class activity
Annotated Bibliography

How to Cite

Steidl, Christina. 2023. “Reviewing the Literature: What We Know About Vampires or Zombies”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, June. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Reviewing the existing literature is a key step in developing a research project. Yet, courses rarely focus on how to do this effectively. As a result, undergraduate students often produce an awkward document that summarizes one article at a time until they reach the number of required citations. In this collaborative classroom activity, students get...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.


Subject Area(s):
Research Methods, Teaching and Learning in Sociology
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This activity could be used in any subject course. The activity itself fits easily within a single class period (40-55 minutes), and can be adjusted depending on the amount of time spent brainstorming in Step 1 and organizing in Step 2.  It can be adapted to online asynchronous classes by having students brainstorm what they know about vampires (or...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Goal 1: Students come to understand the structure and purpose of a literature review.
  2. Goal 2: Students demonstrate proficiency in employing the techniques learned in this activity to organize an outline and translate their outline into prose.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Assessment 1: Students contribute to the collaborative construction of a literature review about zombies or vampires in class. Indicators of success may include: (1) student verbal contributions focus on information about vampires/zombies, instead of on movies/books/TV shows, (2) student suggestions for thematic sections in Step 2 demonstrate awareness of...
  2. Assessment 2: During Steps 2 & 3, students create a thematic outline for a literature review on zombies/vampires and a prose paragraph that incorporates information from multiple sources related to a single theme. These in-class assignments can be assessed using the following criteria:
    o To what extent does a student’s outline demonstrate their...

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF

Our website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, to increase the speed and security for the site, to provide analytics about our site and visitors, and for marketing. By proceeding to the site, you are expressing your consent to the use of cookies. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy .