Assignment Description


This document contains an annotated summary of the major sources that will be used in the research paper, all of which must be peer-reviewed articles or scholarly texts. Students will identify the source, offer a short synopsis of its main argument, and offer a statement of relevance to the research project. Length: 10 pp.

Remember, the literature review should present on the content of your sources and should have no editorializing. At the same time, you don’t want the review to be purely descriptive. One way to avoid a dry description of each source is to identify areas of consensus and disagreement. Asking the following questions can help you identify these:


  • What common topics, themes, and problems come up in my sources?
  • Do all the authors agree on such problems?
  • On what do all the sources agree, if anything?
  • Where do they sharply divide?



There are many ways to construct a good review, and much depends on your research objectives and the topic. We can use this thread to stay in touch about writing the reviews and exchanging some ideas and problems.

To get you started, here are links to some university websites about constructing a good literature review. You might find some guidance here:

sample review from CUNY (a bit longer than the reviews you will write, but helpful).

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s overview of components of a literature review

NC State University has a quick page about review.

and American University has a tutorial about writing reviews


Writing Expectations


All assignments for the School of Security and Global Studies (papers, essays, exams, and Forums) must follow the Chicago Style Manual guidelines. Refer to Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

All written submissions should be submitted in Times New Roman 12 pt font with 1” margins, typewritten in double-spaced format. Graduate-level work is expected to be free of grammar, usage, and style errors.


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