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Contemporary Societal Issues: L9 Literature Review Assignment


“The way things are does not determine the way they ought to be.”
― Michael J. Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? 

L9 Research Skills: Literature Review

TASK: Select a significant topic in contemporary society about which you feel strongly. Conduct focused research in order to write a literature review which presents a complete picture of the conversation around the topic. As you read, analyze the claims and evidence in each source. Build an annotated bibliography that presents your analysis of five chosen sources. The selected sources should contribute to a full and balanced understanding of your topic.


Literature Review ← Use this link to help you understand what a literature review actually is. There are helpful videos and a simplified breakdown of what is expected in this kind of assignment.

At its most basic form, a literature review is a big-picture study of what is being said about a topic. The tricky part of this type of writing is that you must conduct research on all perspectives. You are not making an argument about your topic, you are showcasing the entire discussion surrounding that topic. So for instance, if you are writing about animal cruelty, you must research and include the perspective of people who support factory farming. You don’t have to agree with them, but you must show that part of the conversation as well because it would not be a complete picture without it. You will research and read about every significant perspective on your topic and then write a paper reviewing the information, showing how each perspective links or conflicts with the others, and presenting unbiased conclusions. 

A literature review is preparation to join a conversation already in motion; it is an engagement with the intellectual work of a specific community. To do this, you will be asked to interpret, analyze, and evaluate sources and information in order to present a balanced understanding of the current conversation. In the process, you might identify gaps in the research, and, after completion, identify pathways to fill those gaps and/or to address one or more of the issues involved. 


  • 3-5 page paper using section dividers

  • 6-8 credible sources put in conversation with each other

  • completed NoodleTools Project Page

  • completed Annotated Bibliography 

  • MLA format with completed Works Cited Page

  • submitted to by Tuesday, December 27th

  • ½ of W2 grade along with Research Skills Mini-Portfolio (Jan 4)


RC Research Skills Rubric