Writing Literature Review

For this assignment, you will formulate a research topic, identify and synthesize relevant academic articles on that topic, and formally present your findings in a brief literature review. 
1) First, use the attached document (“Literature Review – Research Topic Selection.docx”) to formulate your research topic. The document provides a list of variables from which you may choose. You will select two different variables. One will be your independent variable (IV), and the other will be your dependent variable (DV). For your literature review, you will research the effect the independent variable on the dependent variable (IV –> DV). Note that some of the variables in the list (marked with an *) may only be used as independent variables. Your research topic will take this form: “What is the effect of [independent variable] on [dependent variable].”

2) Next, use an academic database to locate at least five peer-reviewed journal articles on your selected topic. I recommend using the PsycINFO database because it should include articles related to the topics on this list and because you have experience using the database. If you cannot find articles that address your exact topic, you can use articles that address highly related topics. For example, suppose someone were researching the effect of workload on grade point average (GPA). A highly related topic might be the effect of course load on GRE (graduate school test) scores. It would be appropriate for this person to incorporate such a article into his or her literature review.

3) Finally, write a brief literature review in which you address your research topic drawing from the articles you selected. Your paper should take the form of a formal APA manuscript with a title page, body, and references. (An abstract is not required.) The paper must following proper APA 6th edition guidelines (40 points). The body must have three main sections: introduction, literature review, and discussion (set apart by headings). 

The introduction (40 points) must be at least one-half page in length. It must define your key terms in light of literature (do not use dictionary definitions), establish the importance of the dependent variable (why it matters), and explicitly state the purpose of the literature review (in terms of the research topic).
Your literature review section (80 points) must be at least two pages in length. It must present the literature in a cohesive and integrated manner, and it may incorporate both theory and empirical findings. All factual statements must include appropriate in-text citations with corresponding references.
Your discussion section (40 points) must be at least one-half page in length. It must summarize your key findings (what you learned from the literature review), provide at least one specific implication for practice (what we should do with the information you collected), discuss at least one specific limitation of the studies reviewed, and provide at least one specific suggestion for future research.

select from there topics
Demographics
 Sex * 
Age *
 Race/Ethnicity * 
Single vs. Married * 
 
Professional Life
 Workload * 
Grade Point Average (i.e., GPA)
 Traditional vs. Online Student * 
 
Personality 
Cultural Orientation (independence) 
Personality (i.e., extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism) 
 
Affect 
Altruism
 Optimism 
Perceived Stress
 Anger
 Loneliness 
Self-Esteem
 Satisfaction with Life 
 
Religiousness
 Religious Preference (e.g., Protestant Christian, Catholic Christian) * 
Religious Service Attendance
 * Social Support Received from People at Church 
Social Support Provided to Others at Church
 Negative Interactions with People at Church 
Private Religious Practices 
Daily Spiritual Experiences 
 
Life Events
 Stressful Life Events * 
 
* May only be used as an independent variable (i.e., it cannot be your dependent variable). 
 
To formulate your research topic, choose two different variables from this list. You will research whether one variable (your “independent variable”) causes, affects, or predicts another variable (your “dependent variable”). Your research topic will take this form: 
 
 “What is the effect of [independent variable] on [dependent variable]?” 

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