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Communication Studies

A research guide for students in the field of Communication Studies.

About Literature Reviews

A Literature Review...

  • Introduces a topic and explains why the topic is important (background, establish facts).
    Example: Depression affects over 20% of adolescents.

  • If you are examining a research question through a critical lens/theory/perspective, you need to define what that is.
    Example: Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) explains how close relationship tendencies act as a risk factor for depression. Attachment is defined as a deep and enduring bond that connects one person to another person. 

  • Introduces all the elements in a research question by citing previous published literature relevant to the question (rather than relying on personal opinion).
    Example: A wealth of research has linked attachment insecurity to depressive symptomology (Bifulco et al., 2002; Roberts, Gotlib, & Kassel, 1996; Scharfe, 2007).

  • Cites others who argue there is little research in the area of interest and more research is needed; OR who argue there are conflicting results in the area of interest and more research is needed.
    Example: Few studies have examined the relationship between attachment theory and depression in adolescents; most studies involve only children or adults.  



Resources: How to Write a Literature Review

Templates for Organizing Your Notes

How to Read a Scholarly Article