Literature Review: Using your selected literature (the 5 articles you selected and annotated
in the previous assignment), expand the writing, and draft your literature review. Each
review should describe the strengths and weaknesses of the study your reviewed and the
contributions to the literature the study has made. Each review should be seamlessly
integrated and chained to the other pieces of literature you selected. A literature review
compares and contrasts the characteristics of each study while building the foundation for
your study. You write a synthesized narrative in a scholarly voice.
Your concluding paragraph will summarize the relatedness of the five studies and their
contributions and how they contribute to the foundation of which your analysis will rest.
Your literature review is a seamless narrative document consisting of paragraphs
organized around topics (sub-problems) of your research not around authors in any
particular order. It should not read as a laundry list and must include each citation of the
five (5) journal articles as a reference/bibliography section at the end. Please use APSA
format style. This assignment is typically 2 pages long.
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Rubric: Literature Review: Research Methods
Meets standards, but
work. Some areas
may approach above
needs work to
meet an average
level in most
Selected literature meets
the specified guidelines
related to currency,
proximity to topic, and is
primary scholarly sources
(5). No anonymous
Paper meets most of
the guidelines but
misses on one.
Paper meets most Paper meets most Fails to meet
of the guidelines but of the guidelines
misses on two.
but misses on two
All Cited work is well
chained together and
trends, and gaps are
disclosed. There is a
synthesis at the end of the
review where existing work
is concluded and related
through a summarization.
Cited work is
patterns, trends, and
gaps are disclosed.
There is an attempt at
existing work is
Cited work is not
chained together or
trends, and gaps
are not disclosed or
integrated into a
Cited work reads Fails to meet
like an annotation standards.
and fails to unpack
and or gaps. The
Citation APSA Authordate in text
All sources (information
and graphics) are
accurately documented in
the desired (APSA in text
not in the desired
documented 3-4 are
not in the desired
APSA format, some
Sources are not
missing and/or are
in error, using
wrong style. 5 or
APSA format not
explanations, or details,
concluding sentence, and
No grammatical, spelling
or punctuation errors. No
awkward or run-on
Contains two – four
or punctuation errors.
but were typically
not constructed well
and or contains five
structure was not
not typically related
Contains eight to
appears to have
not been spell
than ten errors.
Writing is in “academic
needs work to
Falls far below
LITERATURE REVIEW (EXAMPLE)
Andrew Stotnicki (1996) states that religion is a means of rehabilitating criminals. He
believes that the institution of religion as a rehabilitative measure will improve a
criminals attitude, character, and social behavior, as well as contribute to social welfare
and well-being of American society (Stotnicki 1996). Stotnicki (1996) argues that
medical treatment, considered as a modern day treatment, has failed. According to his
research, the purpose of penal treatment is to not only punish offenders for their criminal
acts, but to change the behaviors which they exhibit. Stotnicki (1996) has found that the
criminal is often unable to rehabilitate himself, and while confined, asserts that the state
should assume the responsibility of ensuring that each offender receives rehabilitative
treatment. These measures could decrease prison recidivism and increase moral good.
Stotnicki (1996) used a qualitative approach by evaluating the philosophies of his
fellow colleagues. Cullen and Gilbert (1982) argued that the public is supportive of
rehabilitation, considering the value it has in reforming criminals. Braithwaite and Petit
(1989) confer with Stotnicki that religion can serve as a means of rehabilitation. Hudson
(1987), also a supporter of Stotnickis thesis, accuses the state of abandoning these
deviants, making the state partly responsible for the situations many of them find
themselves in because the state has failed to offer alternatives to improve their lives once
they have left the penal system.
The purpose of Stotnicki’s (1996) work is to reveal the influence that religion has on
improving the well-being of criminals. Religion will allow criminals to attain the morals
and values needed to conduct themselves as law abiding citizens, and also, to be socially
responsible for their actions. Offenders must be willing to change. Change is based upon
individual differences rather than commonalities. They must be willing to convert
themselves, making a positive transformation. They must possess the ability to feel
compassion for others and consider their well-being. Religion allows for these measures
to take place, according to Stotnicki, and has been influential in previous years.
Robertson (1998) reports that the prison and rehabilitation services have made poor
preparations for the release of prisoners into the community. Many are not prepared to
function in a society of which they had no contact for a period of time.
Robertson (1998) analyzed a case study of a prisoner who had been incarcerated for
twelve years (the majority of his time was spent in solitary confinement), and revealed
the deficiencies of the rehabilitative services. The prisoner had to make an individual
effort to contact social workers and retrieve medical services. His patient began to
experience post-traumatic stress syndrome, feelings of estrangement from others,
irritability, anger, paranoia, distrust, and displayed violent outbursts (Robertson 1998).
The purpose of Robertson’s (1998) literature was to demonstrate that the absence of
rehabilitative services which attempt to prepare prisoners for society is not seen as a
priority, and the traumatic damage that it causes due to an extended period of
incarceration, is rarely mentioned.
Jablecki (2000) asserts that introducing inmates to the philosophy of Socrates could
serve as a crime prevention model. Throughout Jablecki’s experience, he found that the
overwhelming majority of prison inmates are not incorrigibly mean or evil, and believes
that they should be given the opportunity to participate in higher education programs that
are funded by state and federal governments, for this will encourage them to change their
thinking and conduct (Jablecki 2000). He acknowledges the views of German
philosopher, Immanuel Kant, stating that inmates can change the direction of their lives if
they chose to do so, however, they must have respect for all persons. Jablecki (2000) has
adopted an idealistic view that inmates can be reformed if introduced to Socrates.
Although this may seem unrealistic in the eyes of the public, society must understand that
once an inmate is released that does not necessarily mean that he or she has experienced
moral reform. High school equivalency classes and vocational training programs may
have been provided to them, but they are not designed to foster moral reform. Jablecki
(2000) is convinced that the recidivism rates of former prison inmates can be reduced
significantly, if, while incarcerated, they are skillfully guided through a systematic
discussion of the life and teachings of Socrates, as presented by Plato in the Apology,
Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, and the analysis of the concept of justice in the Republic
Jablecki (2000) used a qualitative approach to study his hypothesis by studying
individual cases of inmates that he has had the privilege of teaching. Five of the former
inmates who have achieved academic success through the instruction of Jablecki
comment on how their educational experience, while incarcerated, has given them the
opportunity to seek further knowledge and understanding of themselves and society, and
to help change the lives of others who are in similar situations. The University of
Houston published a report in January 1995 describing the history of the program. The
report found that more than 200 inmates earned a bachelor’s degree, and forty-five
inmates earned a master’s degree (Jablecki 2000). From 1990 to 1995, of the thirty-nine
inmates who earned a bachelor’s degree, seventeen were released on parole, and two
returned to prison, resulting in a recidivism rate of 11 percent (Jablecki 2000). Of the
forty-five individuals who earned a master’s degree, nineteen were released on parole,
and one returned to prison, resulting in a recidivism rate of five percent (Jablecki 2000).
Studies conducted in Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York have all reported
significantly low recidivism rates for inmates who participate in correctional higher
education programs, ranging from 1 percent to 15.5 percent.
The purpose of Jablecki’s (2000) work suggests that courses involving humanities and
liberal arts may change an inmate’s perspective of society and the behavior they have
displayed within society. Inmates may be able to use their analytical thinking skills,
communication skills, and research skills to evaluate the customs, languages, values, and
behaviors of culturally diverse populations.
Dilulio (1997) suggests that to reinvent probation, society must reinvest, by providing
more funding, more agents (i.e. probation officers and parole officers), and closer
supervision. The probation and parole systems are failing to protect the public, as well as
the probationers themselves. According to Dilulio (2000), the “personal responsibility”
model presented by Martin Horn (formerly head of New York State’s Parole Authority
and currently Commissioner of Prisons in Pennsylvania) offers released prisoners a
parole services voucher. For approximately two years, the voucher can be used to seek
education, job training, drug treatment, or any other services offered by providers of the
state. Should the individual commit a new crime during this period, they would serve the
sentence for the crime committed, along with an additional two years.
Dilulio (2000) used a qualitative method to evaluate criminal victimization rates,
study the number of adjudicated juvenile cases, and study the history of violent and
repeat criminal offenders. He has also examined programs in Philadelphia and New
York, in which their missions are crime prevention. Dilulio (1997) refers to Joan R.
Petersilia (former director of RAND’s criminal justice research program) findings on the
current funding allocated per probationer for supervision, which is about $200. He also
refers to Patrick A. Langan, a statistician for the United States Department of Justice,
who has found that more than 90 percent of probationers are supposed to receive
substance abuse counseling, pay victim restitution, or meet other requirements, of which
they do not comply and probation sanctions are not enforced.
The purpose of Dilulio’s (2000) article was to promote the reinvention of probation
and parole. Conservatives are in favor of abolishing parole, curtailing probation,
imprisoning every adult felon for his or her entire term, and placing juvenile offenders in
adult prisons, for the current system is not working. However, when examining the
amount of money allocated for the operation of adult and juvenile probation systems,
there simply isn’t enough. In order for these systems to work effectively and
successfully, sufficient funding is needed.
Ross and Voss (2003) assert that to enhance the rehabilitation of adult male offenders
of a diverse population, including whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native
Americans would be done by: 1) forming moral communities; 2) demanding high
standards of learning so that offenders may be able to interact successfully and
democratically in a culturally diverse hostile community; and 3) education through a
liberal arts curriculum to enhance the development of critical thinking skills and values
necessary for the global workplace. Post-secondary education has been beneficial in
rehabilitating offenders and reducing recidivism.
Rose and Voss (2003) used a qualitative method of research to support their thesis
through multiple case studies of correctional students of various racial, ethnic, linguistic,
and social class groups. Clifford Edwards (2000), a professor of education at Illinois
State University and Brigham Young University, suggest that a moral community, which
Rose and Voss also support, will foster the learning environment for offenders, although
it must posses these four attributes: 1) encourage genuine dialogue among all members;
2) moral communities depend extensively on rational inquiry, a condition necessary for
community survival; 3) moral communities provide each individual sufficient freedom to
prioritize personal agendas within the context of community life; and 4) moral
communities are democratic.
The purpose of Rose and Voss’ (2003) literature is to provide an understanding that
the correctional students must be motivated in order to conceptualize the values of
humanity and community, and they must practice those values in order to be productive
citizens in society. A key element in constructing a Utopian environment and moral
community in the correctional institution is establishing trust between the teacher and the
student (Rose and Voss 2003). A respectful environment is one in which the offender is
addressed using the title “Mister”. Respect is another crucial element, upon which
relationships amongst diverse individuals are built, enhancing the offender’s self-esteem,
and ultimately lowering the rate of recidivism, allowing many of the offender students to
successfully pursue degrees. Rose and Voss (2003) believe that a nurturing, supportive,
yet challenging environment is essential to the education process that unites, empowers,
and inspires all to make an individual and collective contribution to society.
The contribution that each article has made to the political field of which a study will
be conducted is that there are alternatives to rehabilitating criminals in American society.
However, those individuals responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of rehabilitation
have chosen to abandon many of these programs, contributing to the increase in prison
recidivism (Muhammad, 2003). Offenders often leave the penal system with the same
state of mind and practicing the same criminal behaviors with which they entered.
Stotnicki (1996) has found that religion is a deterrence method for particular kinds of
deviant behavior and inhibits crime and delinquency. Robertson (1998) believes that
preparing prisoners mentally, emotionally, and socially to function as citizens in society
prior to their release, will contribute to their progress in today’s society. Jablecki (2000)
asserts that introducing criminals to the teachings and philosophies of Socrates will
produce moral reform. Dilulio (1997) suggests that the reinvention of rehabilitation
programs and the reinvestment of funds into the penal system’s rehabilitation programs
will decrease recidivism, while Rose and Voss (2003) believe that to enhance the
rehabilitation of adult male offenders it must be done so through moral communities,
high expectations, and a liberal arts curriculum. The hypothesis of this study suggests that
the majority of male ex-offenders who have been recently released from prison have not
been able to maintain a productive lifestyle, due to a lack of efficient rehabilitative
programs that are necessary in assisting these men re-enter society.
Literature Review One of the most important early steps in a research
proposal or project is the conducting of the literature review. A literature
review is designed to identify related research, to set the current research
project within a conceptual and theoretical context. The first step in
conducting a literature review is to determine what are the most credible
research journals in your topic area and to start looking at them. Put more
emphasis on peer-reviewed, blind, or juried reviewed journals. You need to
start early on with your literature review and are likely to learn a lot in the
When writing a literature review, you must be clear in your mind what
it is your planning to research and what research has been done in the
area already. This means, you will have already read widely in the
issue area and will know quite a bit about the topic.
The Review of the literature is a discussion of the studies, research
reports, and scholarly writings that bear directly on your own effort.
You need to know what others have done, what they have found, said
and where areas for additional research remain.
Discover if someone has already answered your research question.
Find new ideas, perspectives, and approaches.
Learn about other researchers who conduct work in the same area.
Identify controversial issues and gaps in understanding that have not
yet been resolved.
Learn how others have handled methodological and design issues in
studies similar to your own.
Uncover sources of data that you may not have known existed
Discover established measurement tools
Interpret and make sense of your findings and tie your results to the
work of those who have preceded you
Become an expert on the topic at hand
You need to have a plan, make an outline of what you plan to say and
then find supporting documentation to assist you in your effort.
You must carefully consider your problem statement and this will
suggest areas for review. Begin your discussion of the related
literature from a comprehensive perspective broad then narrow.
Identify one or more keywords and then:
Use the library catalog and browse the holdings
Use indexes, abstracts, and other general references
Use online databases
Consult with reference librarians
Surf the Internet using a search engine
Examine citations and reference lists from published work
When you cite studies, do so accurately. Follow the American
Political Science Association author-date format.
Write down the problem (on paper, the computer, brainstorming
Write each subproblem
Identify important words and phrases
Translate these words and phrases into specific topics (your agenda)
Seek out resources related to your agenda
Keep records of each search and each citation
Review the literature, dont copy it. Give credit where credit is due.
Your emphasis should always be on how a particular idea or research
finding relates to your own problem something that only you can
discuss and shed light upon.
Evaluate and organize
Synthesize what youve learned
? Identify common themes
? Show how approaches to the topic have changed over time
? Compare and contrast theoretical positions
? Describe general trends
? Identify and explain discrepant or contradictory findings
? Your literature review is not a chronological order of literature;
rather, it is arranged in topical order and emphasizes your
critique and synthesis of the work that is related to your own
Rewrite, edit, and accept constructive help.
If your topic is welfare reform in California, you will want to find out
precisely what national, state, and local government policies currently
affect welfare administration and the important details of how each of
these policies came to be adopted.
Why do a lit review, it would be embarrassing to spend all your time
doing a research project only to find that it has already been done.
Worse yet, you are presenting your research and …
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