Writing Your Literature Review

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Please read ahead before the next lesson

  • Instructions for the next individual assignment HERE
  • APA 6th edition sample HERE
  • Deadline : Monday, 3 February (9.00 am)

Resources on Literature Review

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

You can find today's materials here:

Your Individual task

1.  You are doing a study of one 21st century challenge that affects a local community which you have access to (do not restrict yourself to SST community only).

Ask yourselves - How does the chosen topic relate to a global 21st C challenge? How is that challenge affecting a local community you know? Prove it!


3.  Present your collated materials in the form of a concept map using popplet or padlet by Monday, 27 January 2014, 5.00 pm.

If your URL is not up by the stipulated time, you will be penalised. Therefore, start early and post the URL way before the deadline.

Today's task

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

1. Agree on the topic you'll be doing for your IRS research.
2. Formulate your questions and submit to Mdm Arfah by Thursday.
3. Set up your blog - e.g. sst2014-s203airs.blogspot.sg and prepare the pages / tabs for the following sections

Home (State the group members names and roles as well as the title of your research)
Introduction (A short paragraph on what the research is about and why you are doing this research - recall Research Justification Report that you did last year?)
Literature Review (It is not enough to summarise various articles. You'll need to synthesize what is said in each article and how they relate to one another as well as how these articles forms the basis of your research or help you to investigate further.
Methodology (Stating your research questions, methods and sample)
Discussion (Present and discuss you findings)
Conclusion (What can you conclude from your research and state further recommendations for further research)

4.  Submit 1st Notes of Meeting - Format as below

1st NOM  for Team A

Present: Name 1, Name 2, Name 3
Absent with apologies: Name 4

Item.              Matters                                                                       Action by
1.                   The team decided to do a study on … …                     All    
2.                    Communications Manager to set up blog…..             Name

Crafting questions

How to Write a Research Question -

What is a research question?
A research question is a clear, focused, concise, complex and arguable question around which you center your research. You should ask a question about an issue that you are genuinely curious about.
Why is a research question essential to the research process?
Research questions help writers focus their research by providing a path through the research and writing process. The specificity of a well-developed research question helps writers avoid the “all-about” paper and work toward supporting a specific, arguable thesis.
Steps to developing a research question:
  • Choose an interesting general topic. Even directed academic research should focus on a topic in which the writer is at least somewhat personally invested. Writers should choose a broad topic about which they genuinely would like to know more. An example of a general topic might be “Slavery in the American South” or “Films of the 1930s.”
  • Do some preliminary research on your general topic. Do a few quick searches in current periodicals and journals on your topic to see what’s already been done and to help you narrow your focus. What questions does this early research raise?
  • Consider your audience. For most college papers, your audience will be academic, but always keep your audience in mind when narrowing your topic and developing your question. Would that particular audience be interested in this question?
  • Start asking questions. Taking into consideration all of the above, start asking yourself open-ended “how” and “why” questions about your general topic. For example, “How did the slave trade evolve in the 1850s in the American South?” or “Why were slave narratives effective tools in working toward the abolishment of slavery?”
    • Evaluate your question.
      Is your research question clear? With so much research available on
      any given topic, research questions must be as clear as possible in
      order to be effective in helping the writer direct his or her research.
Is your research question focused? Research questions must be specific enough to be well covered in the space available. (See flip side for examples of focused vs. unfocused research questions.)
Is your research question complex? Research questions should not be answerable with a simple “yes” or “no” or by easily-found facts.  They should, instead, require both research and analysis on the part of the writer.
  • Hypothesize. After you’ve come up with a question, think about what the path you think the answer will take. Where do you think your research will take you? What kind of argument are you hoping to make/support? What will it mean if your research disputes your planned argument?

Sample Research Questions

Unclear: Why are social networking sites harmful?Clear: How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on such social networking sites as MySpace and Facebook?
The unclear version of this question doesn’t specify which social networking sites or suggest what kind of harm the sites are causing. It also assumes that this “harm” is proven and/or accepted. The clearer version specifies sites (MySpace and Facebook), the type of harm (privacy issues), and who the issue is harming (users). A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation.

 What is the effect on the environment from global warming?
Focused: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in Antarctica?
The unfocused research question is so broad that it couldn’t be adequately answered in a book-length piece, let alone a standard college-level paper. The focused version narrows down to a specific cause (glacial melting), a specific place (Antarctica), and a specific group that is affected (penguins). When in doubt, make a research question as narrow and focused as possible.
Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U.S.?
Appropriately Complex:  What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?
The simple version of this question can be looked up online and answered in a few factual sentences; it leaves no room for analysis. The more complex version is written in two parts; it is thought provoking and requires both significant investigation and evaluation from the writer. As a general rule of thumb, if a quick Google search can answer a research question, it’s likely not very effective. 

Question formulation

Here's a recap of the technique used for formulating questions.

From Right Question Institute 

What are some of the 21st Century Challenges?


IRS Schedule

Please find the schedule as stated below.

Term 1
2-3 Jan
Special Timetable

6-10 Jan
IRS Expectations and Assessment Schedule
Revisiting the Research Process  - Documentation, Presentation and Report Writing           
Asking Questions on the 21st Century Challenges using the Question Formulation Technique

13-17 Jan
Asking Questions on the 21st Century Challenges using the Question Formulation Technique - FINALISING YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION

20-14 Jan
Writing Literature Review and Doing Proper Citations

27-31 Jan
30 Jan (Thu): CNY celebrations
31 Jan (Fri): CNY holiday
Feedback of Literature Review
Revision of data collection and research methodologies

3-7 Feb
3 Feb (Mon): CNY school holiday
Feedback of research methodologies
Presentation of the Data

10-14 Feb
14 Feb (Fri): S2 Parents’ Briefing & AS Briefing
Feedback of research methodologies
Interpretation of the Data


17-21 Feb
Feedback of research methodologies
Interpretation of the Data

24-28 Feb
Level Test 1
Concluding the report


3-7 Mar
Concluding the report


10-14 Mar
12 Mar (Wed): Celebrations@SST
VIVA (Oral Presentation) Skills
Term 2
24-28 Mar
VIVA (Oral Presentation) Skills
31 Mar-4 Apr
VIVA (Oral Presentation) Skills
*Submission of Research Paper

7-11 Apr
*Submission of E-Portfolio
14-18 Apr
18 Apr (Fri): Good Friday
Individual Reflections and Peer Assessment
21-25 Apr
Individual Reflections and Peer Assessment
28 Apr-2 May
1 May (Thu): Labour Day
5-9 May
Common Test
12-16 May
Review of Common Test

13 May (Tue): Vesak Day
16 May (Fri): Student Congress

10-23 May
23 May (Fri): School-Parents Meeting

26-30 May
 Post-exam activities

31 May (Sat): Open House