In the last unit you began to research scholarship in your field that addressed the research question(s) you seek to answer. For this assignment you will continue this research and begin to build an overview of the ways in which your discipline addresses the issue or provides solutions to the problems you wish to solve. In the next unit you will synthesize this into a multi-disciplinary approach, but for now you want to make sure that you are familiar with the important voices and viewpoints that belong strictly to your discipline. In this unit you will explore the ways that scholars in your field communicate, and why.
As you draft this essay you should be collecting three or more sources, with the intention of working towards synthesis. In other words, how do you see these pieces fitting together to form a coherent voice or stance on the issue you are tackling? You should be able to pull directly from at least some of the writing you did for the prior assignment, including the reflective essay.Â
The key to this assignment is how well you are able to synthesise (not summarize) the information you have collected. As most of your readers will be from areas outside of your discipline, it will be important that early on in the paper you succinctly define and explain the conventions and vocabularies used by the scholars in your discipline. There are many ways to organize a literature review: you might choose to lay the literature out in a chronological fashion that demonstrates to your auidence how the discipline has approached this over time, emphasizing the evolution, or you might find a thematic approach to be more effective. No matter how you choose to organize your paper, you should end with a paragraph that not only summarizes the information, but that points to your own view of the disciplinary approach in a way that persuades your audience that you have carefully studied the situation at hand and are providing them with a full, well-considered draft.