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Arnold reminds us to pay careful attention to assumptions in order to produce effective argumentative writing.by Arnold Wentzel PART 1: UNDERSTANDING THE LITERATURE REVIEW AS ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING THE RESEARCH QUESTION The label ‘literature review’ is a misnomer which sometimes leads thesis writers to produce unfocused and badly written literature review chapters.This post begins a series of four that untangles the purpose of working with literature.
You should ask a question about an issue that you are genuinely curious and/or passionate about.
The question you ask should be developed for the discipline you are studying.
If your topic is too narrow, you may not be able to find enough information to include in your literature review.
It is often helpful to start with a broad idea, then narrow your focus by brainstorming related ideas.
Your research question should be clear, focused, and complex enough to allow for adequate research and analysis.
Most importantly, your research question should be interesting to you - you'll be spending a great deal of time researching and writing so you should be eager to learn more about it.The focused version narrows down to a specific effect of global warming (glacial melting), a specific place (Antarctica), and a specific animal that is affected (penguins).It also requires the writer to take a stance on which effect has the greatest impact on the affected animal.A strong research question should never leave room for ambiguity or interpretation.Unfocused: 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." A good research question is manageable in scope - not too broad, but not too narrow.If your topic is too broad, you may become overwhelmed and find it difficult to organize your ideas.Arnold Wentzel teaches economics, teaching methodology in business, and also research writing skills across social science disciplines at the University of Johannesburg.This is the first in a four-part series in which he explains his way of approaching the literature review.It also assumes that this “harm” is proven and/or accepted.The clearer version specifies sites (My Space and Facebook), the type of potential harm (privacy issues), and who may be experiencing that harm (users).