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Respond to this discussion topic with one paragraph describing how this task might have helped you or why it did not help you in organizing your thoughts for.

WRTG 391 students,

This discussion thread is designed to further help you see how a synthesis of sources essay, or literature review, is organized.

Download the sample literature from the 100-level psychology class.

Please note that this literature review is more informal than the one on the CSI effect by Maeder and Corbett that you read last week.  You will notice a level of informality in its tone and language.  In addition, it is not perfect in its synthesis of sources.  Moreover, the author cites only six sources throughout the review.  Overall, this is a literature review written for a 100-level class.  Please keep in mind that you literature review might not be as sophisticated as the one by Maeder and Corbett.  Nonetheless, it provides a helpful demonstration of how one can analyze studies, synthesize sources, and divide a review into categories.

Answer the following questions:

1. In the introduction, what is the thesis statement for this paper?

2. In the section entitled “Influence of Mood on Eating Behavior,” does the writer ever give her own opinion?  If you think so, point out where she does.

In this section, the author mentions limits to the study by Oliver and Wardle.  What are the limits of this study, according to the writer?

3. Throughout the paper, does the author ever advocate for programs or other steps to be taken for the problem she describes in the paper?

4. In the section “Influence of Eating Behavior on Later Moods,” the writer cites only one source. If you were to give her advice on this section, what advice might you give her to help her develop it more effectively?  Feel free to search in the library databases for articles on this topic or to suggest key words for her to search on.

5. As a result of having read this article, please write a few sentences about what you might have learned about synthesizing sources.

Part 2:  Write your idea/title/topic/thesis in the center of a piece of paper. Draw a circle around it.  For the purposes of this exercise, you will use the topic of your Literature Review.

  • Draw a “leg” from the central “body” of your Literature Review topic towards the top right hand corner of the page. Label this “leg” with the first topic that you dealt with in your Review.
  • Add more legs moving clockwise around the page until all the sections have been included, with the final one being somewhere near the top left of the page.
  • Now divide each “leg” up into smaller “legs” with all the points that you made in each section. (Again work clockwise from the top left so that the sequence of ideas is maintained).
  • Finally, be sure that one section is devoted to identifying any gaps or niches in the research literature in your synthesis of sources essay (literature review), or WA#3.
  • You may have to redraw your spider diagram several times until you find a structure that works for you. Make sure that you find a proposal structure that suits the needs of your Niches and Gaps paper. Please post your spider diagram below.
  • Respond to this discussion topic with one paragraph describing how this task might have helped you or why it did not help you in organizing your thoughts for WA#3.

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