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POS 487: Practicum in Engaged Policy Studies I: Home

Literature Reviews

A literature review brings together a range of relevant works on a topic, and is intended to:

  • explore compelling questions, problems, concepts, or issues that you would like to address
  • discover relationships between ideas
  • connect your ideas to existing literature on your research topic(s) 
  • demonstrate your knowledge of a topic
  • demonstrate your ability to critique and synthesize various strands of the conversation(s) taking place around your topic
  • identify research gaps, areas for further consideration, and/or disagreements in the literature

Verified Information

In this time of an explosion of available information, it is important to use appropriately verified information as a basis for your research.  Here are defined a few ways that information can be verified:

The Edited Publication process occurs for books that have been submitted to a publisher and moved through a process of editing and verification.  This does not happen with self-published materials, and the rigor of the process varies by type of publisher.  A university press (think Columbia University Press) is going to be more thorough than a popular press (such as Scribner). 

Peer Review is a process used by most scholarly journals to ensure high quality.  Authors submit their work for publication, and, before the journal accepts the article, the editors of the journal send the article out to other experts in the same field (peers) to have it critiqued (reviewed).

Dissertations are the culmination of a graduate student's work in earning a doctoral degree.  These items are reviewed closely by the grad student's faculty committee.  Master's theses are the similar product for graduate students earning a master's degree.

Data and statistical information can be verified by looking at the publishing entity.  What is the source of the data?  What organization collected and is publishing the data? How did they collect the data?

Finding Scholarly Information

Other Places to Search That May Be Helpful

Other Information Sources


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Nancy Lewis
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5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

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