Be frugal with the use of quotations.Quotations only demonstrate the ability to retype what youread in an article or book. Quotations do not demonstrate comprehension. Quotations should beused when the original language is critical or so beautifully worded that paraphrasing would be”research sin.”2.
Paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize.Putting the research you’ve read into your own wordsestablishes that you understand the scholarship.3.
Organize, organize,and organizeyour literature review.Nothing is more frustrating than nothaving anidea why you’re reading what is on the page. So guide your reader through the literaturereview with clear and precise organization.4.Edit and proofread.Then edit and proofread again.
Good writing rarely occurs on the first draft.A good literature review that is well written requires editing and proofreading. Remember, youare putting your scholarship bona fides on display when you write a research paper so grammar,spelling, and punctuation always count.Basics of APA StyleWriting a literature review requires familiarity with a research writing style. Many different research styleshave been developed over the years including Chicago Style, Turabian, MLA (Modern LanguageAssociation), APA (American Psychological Association), APSA (American Political Science Association),and CSE (Council of Scientific Editors). This is just a small list of all the available scholarly writing stylesavailable. The most common styles in communication studies are APA, MLA, and Chicago.
However,themost dominant and the one we focus on here is APA. The entire Publication Manual of the AmericanPsychological Association is hundreds of pages long so we take an exemplary approach and identifycommon issues we see in students’ papers.Tips for Using APA Style1.Research for anAPA manual and keep it for your entire time as a communicationsstudent.2.Keepacopy of the APA manual handy.Over time,you willmemorize certain formattingrequirements but other style and formatting issues arise that must be looked up on a regularbasis.
3.Write your literature review in past tense (“Cronn-Mills (2012) argued . . .”) or present perfecttense (Croucher (2012) has established . . .
).4.APA prefers active voice instead of passive voice in sentence construction.5.People are always “who,” never “that”. “That” is for inanimate objects; “who” is for people.6.APA requires you use the same typeface and font size for the entire paper, including the coverpage.
The most common font is 12-point Times New Roman.7.Quotations must include a source citation, date, and a page number (and look up in your APAmanual whatto do if you are citing an online source without page numbers). Make sure the periodis after a closing citation.8.A quotation longer than 40 words (which you will use infrequently!) is placed in a block format.The entire quotation is a new paragraph, indented 1/2″, and no quotation marks start or end thequotation.