The Review of Literature

After you have written out your introduction, the next step is to find studies that are for and against your argument.  At this stage, you are simply gathering information in a format that we can use later.

In a Review of Literature, the researcher gives a summary of the research that is available on a given topic. For each study that you have find, you should write out the aim, procedure, results and implications of the study. The implications should reflect the research question. In addition, you should evaluate the implications.  This may be either your own thoughts or the thoughts of other psychologists.

For example: Origins of sexuality

Study:  LeVay (1991) – Levay did post-mortem studies on a sample of 41 people – with 19 being gay males, 16 heterosexual males, and the remainder women.  He found that the INAH3 nuclei in the hypothalamus was twice as large in heterosexual men as in homosexual men.  The nuclei were more similar to the nuclei in the female brains. The study shows that there may be a biological basis for homosexuality rooted in the hypothalamus.  There is a question, however, of bidirectional ambiguity.  It is unclear if the change in the hypothalamus has a genetic root, is the results of sexual orientation, or in the case of LeVay’s research, a result of the HIV virus and treatment. There is actually more to write about this study, but I am just trying to demonstrate the style

You should try to have 8 – 10 studies. Not all will have detailed aims, procedures or results.  In fact, if you do have a lot of information about the procedure, try to only list the most important points.  For now write each paragraph as the paragraph above with correct citation.  Please be sure to use “official sources” and do not use BBC, Wikipedia, or other random websites.  Databases, journals, SCIAM Mind or other magazines should be your preferred sources.

As you are creating your document, please be sure to divide your studies into “argument” and “counter-argument.”  Remember, your paper must be a debate.

Next deadline: March 12

Goal:  Have a minimum of four of your studies written in paragraph format as above.