A1d: The literature review
Due Date: Wednesday 24th October at 3.00pm Melbourne time.
Mode: Individual written literature review
Word limit: 2000 words
Includes title, subheadings, in-text citations & keywords,
Excludes figures/tables, their captions & reference list.
Submission: Submission of a .doc or .docx file via Moodle.
Late Work: 10% of total available mark will be deducted per 24 hours or part thereof.
Objectives: After this assignment students should:
§ Have demonstrated the ability to refine a research question within a broader topic;
§ Understand the purpose and structure of a scientific literature review and be able to write a coherent review on a single topic using a language and style suitable for a non-specialist scientific audience (i.e. another science student);
§ Be able to find, read and critically evaluate recent scientific literature;
§ Understand the purpose and importance of referencing and citations;
§ Be able to evaluate and give feedback on an essay prepared by another person;
§ Demonstrate the ability to write well, using correct grammar and spelling;
§ Be able to follow instructions on formatting and style.
Step by step guide
1.Refine an appropriate scientific question.
This must be based on one of the broad topics given to you at the start of semester. You should have already done this for your annotated bibliography assignment. Discuss your topic with your tutor.
2.Find appropriate resourcesto prepare a literature review.
Using appropriate library and scientific databases. You will probably need to read over 20 articles in order to select 15 or so to cite. You can use the articles that you used in your annotated bibliography and the press release if they are still relevant to your topic.
3.View theliterature review examples.
4.Prepare a concise, written scientific literature review(2000 words).
Use a professional style using language that is appropriate for a scientifically educated but non-specialist audience, e.g. other SCI2010 students. Define technical terms and avoid using jargon.
Logically order content using the following structure:
1. Informative and original title (included in word count)
2. Abstract (up to 100 words and is included in word count)
3. Five or six keywords that do not appear in the title (included in word count)
4. Introduction (included in word count)
5. Main text with sub-headings (included in word count)
6. A discussion of the material presented (if not integrated under the subheadings) (included in word count)
7. Conclusion (included in word count)
8. Reference list (not included in word count)
9. Figures, tables and their captions (not included in word count.
Consider summarising information in tables or creating diagrams to explain complex ideas or inter-relationships between ideas. This is not essential but they can be useful to sort out your ideas.Tables must not be used as a substitute for written text.
5. Cite as you write.
Cite at least 15 articles.
§ At least 10 of these must be relatively recent XXXXXXXXXXpeer-reviewed primary scientific articles.
§ In addition to the 10 + peer reviewed primary scientific articles, you may include a maximum of three review articles for background and general context but you should refer to the original study, not reviews, when discussing specific findings.
§ You may also choose to use some older references published prior to 2013 to add context.
§ However, please note that when usingmore than 15 articles, 2/3 (or more) of your cited articles for A1dmust be relatively recent XXXXXXXXXXpeer-reviewed primary scientific articles.
When sourcing articles you should be drawing from a range of journals and those written by a range of authors. Do not rely too heavily on one author or journal as this may introduce bias.
In-text citationsareincluded in your word count.
Textbooks and reference books should be avoided.Do not cite anything from the Internet, newspapers or magazines. Official reports, that is, from the United Nations, NASA or the World Health Organisation, may be used sparingly and typically have a formal way of referencing and therefore do not need a URL.
Bonus literature review tips
Information and exercises on writing for science can be found on Monash’sLanguage and Learning Service website.
If you are aiming for adistinction or higherin your final literature review, the following suggestions may be helpful:
· Use more than the minimum number of references XXXXXXXXXXin order to increase breadth and/or depth.
· Make sure your aim and scope are not too broad. It is easier to write a good literature review if your aim and scope are reasonably specific and tightly defined.
· Synthesise issues from the literature rather than presenting them as a list of disconnected paragraphs.
· Explain the scientific processes or mechanisms involved in what you are talking about – not just the patterns that result from these.
· Include quantitative information. For example, how many participants were involved in the study? What is the uncertainty or range in the measurements? By what percentage did factor X cause observation Y to increase?
· Create your own figures or tables to explain complex ideas or to summarise and synthesise large amounts of information. Remember to include appropriate captions and refer to them in the main text.
· Use the discussion section to include your own interpretation of the material presented.
· Write a concise conclusion that summarises your review and includes a clear ‘take home’ message.
I have already chosen a topic: Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in women following childbirth
-the journal articles should be relatively new: XXXXXXXXXXand CSIRO referencing