English 101

You will work with communication studies concepts while critically analyzing published research. This project consists of the following:

Abstract (1–2 paragraphs)

Literature Review (4–5 pages)

Reference Page

Annotated Bibliography (6–8 sources)


The Research Project’s aim is to build skills in academic writing, specifically in applying APA style standards, reading research, and writing a literature review. The major goals are to become familiar with writing a literature review in APA style and to learn how to construct and effectively support a thesis.

Project Details:

Decide on your research topic.

Abstract: This is a short summary of your topic and your argument. It should help the audience understand what they are about to read in your paper.

Topic: Ethics of interviewing children who are victims of a crime
Question: Should reporters ever interview children who are victims of a crime?
Theory: Child trauma psychology (Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma)
Argument: Children who are victims should not be interviewed because it doesn’t further the story and creates more trauma.
In 1–2 paragraphs, describe the communication trend/phenomenon or communication problem you wish to explore as well as a specific research question and the argument you will make (thesis).
Example (please write yours in paragraph format):
Note: It is usually best to write the abstract last after you’ve finished your paper.
Annotated Bibliography: This is a detailed list of the sources you read for your research.
Read 6–8 sources that represent the most current, useful, and/or widely cited sources on your topic (even if they do not support your argument).
List each source and write a brief statement summarizing it. Then explain how each source is useful in addressing your research question.
Literature Review: This makes use of the research you read in order to synthesize and analyze the information.
In approximately 4 or 5 pages, use the sources you read to answer your research question and support your thesis. You should NOT compose a summary of the sources, but rather you should compare the works to one another and describe the “conversation” in the literature regarding your topic. Basically, you are to become familiar with the research on your topic, make an argument or a discussable/debatable point in your literature review, and then support it with theory and/or evidence.
You may organize your literature review thematically or chronologically, or there may be another structure that best serves your goals beyond these two options—looking at studies that use similar populations, reviewing other studies that apply your argument, or reporting how ideas or beliefs have developed over time in a historical look at the topic. Or, you may have another intentional way of using the published research on your topic to make an original point. You decide the boundaries of your literature review, but do more with it than a simple “book report” on each source.


Use Times New Roman, 12-point size, double spacing, and one-inch margins for this assignment. Follow APA style CAREFULLY. (Refer to your APA Pocket Style Manual.)


Abstract (25 points)

1–2 paragraphs (5 points)

Describes in detail the communication trend/phenomenon or communication problem your paper explores. (10 points)

Explains a specific research question and the theory/evidence you will use to analyze the topic and make your argument. Thesis statement is clear, strong, and thoughtful. (10 points)

Annotated Bibliography (75 points)

6–8 sources that represent the most current, useful, and/or widely cited sources on your topic

(20 points)

Lists each source in correct APA style with a brief statement summarizing it. (15 points)

Explains how each source is useful in answering or interacting with your research question.

(40 points)

Literature Review (150 points)

Focus (30 points)

The review contributes an original perspective with a clear and discussable/debatable focus consistently presented throughout.

Sources/support (45 points)

Excellent use of sources to explore the research question. The review contains convincing and proficiently supported points that reveal the implications of the topic and theory discussed.

Structure (15 points)

The information is presented with a logical progression of ideas that build on each other in an intentional, thoughtful way.

Style (20 points)

Writing is clear and concise. Wordiness or vagueness do not burden the reader. Action verbs drive sentences. Unifying techniques are used to create a quick pace and an information-driven piece.

Editing (15 points)

The paper does not contain grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. APA style is used correctly.

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