Draft Introduction and Literature Review

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Introduction and Literature Review sections for your final paper. 

The Introduction should provide a brief overview of your paper and introduce your major research question(s) of interest, the literature upon which you base your analytic decisions, the data source(s) and your analytic method(s).

The Literature Review should describe your theoretical and substantive topic of interest for the final paper.  Typically, the literature review provides an organized exposition of the ideas and scholarly sources that the student used to develop her/his own ideas for the paper. The literature review should provide a summary of what scholarly work has been done on the student’s area of research (i.e., theory) and also should demonstrate how the student’s work complements or fits into this existing body of knowledge.

The literature review should have  8 sources directly relevant to your topic and the  hypothesis you are testing. Five of these sources MUST be academic in nature. Academic sources are peer reviewed journals and books.  Newspapers, magazines, Wikipedia, social media and mass media are NOT academic sources.  Journals such as the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, etc. are academic sources.  You must cite all sources consistently using a standard citation style (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc).




  • Introduction: You already submitted a motivation for your research topic this week, which you can draw on: Briefly explain why this topic interests you and state your main research question and data sources. Your final introduction should also include a short overview of how the paper is organized.
    • Literature Review: Find some academic sources that seem relevant to your topic (Your final paper should include at least 8 sources, 5 of which should be academic/peer-reviewed). Google Scholar  (Links to an external site.) is very helpful for this. At this point you don't have to provide an annotated bibliography - that's due on July 26, but just list the sources you have found so far.
    • Your final literature review should provide an organized exposition of the ideas and scholarly sources that you used to develop your ideas for the paper. The literature review should provide a summary of what scholarly work has been done in your paper's area of research.
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