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SPEA V450 Research Design

Instructor: Littlepage

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Business/SPEA Library

1315 E. Tenth Street, Room 150
Bloomington, IN 47405
Business/SPEA Library


Saving Searches:

Many databases will save your searches and/or individual articles into folders that you can return to at a later point. You will need to create an account prior to saving content.  

Citation Styles:

Citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved:

  • MLA style (Modern Language Association) is typically used by the Humanities. 
  • APA style (American Psychological Association)  often is used by Education, Psychology, and Business.

The Purdue OWL has guides for both MLA and APA that can be helpful in generating citations.

Citation Managers:

The Libraries help to support and provide training for several citation managers. Citation management tools are programs that collect records or citations from research databases (indexes, catalogs, etc.) that you can then organize for your research projects. They also help you cite your research by creating bibliographies, citations, and footnotes automatically. 

Literature Review Rubric

The rubric below is one way you might evaluate the quality/writing of your literature review.





Problem Statement/Introduction

Did not present the topic to be examined

Presented the topic and the research need

Topic is clearly defined and context for research is provided

Organized Progression

Report has no clear direction and subtopics are not connected

Basic flow of ideas but not all sections follow a logical order

Report goes from general to specific; transitions relate to sections

Coverage of Content

Major works omitted; significance to field not clear; criteria for inclusion not presented

Major works included but not covered in adequate depth; significance of selected resources discussed

Appropriate resources examined and covered in depth; significance of research critiqued

Synthesis of Ideas

Did not attempt to synthesize the information or discuss the topic in the broader context of the scholarly literature

Some analysis and synthesis of ideas; discussed the history and relationships among key points found in the literature

Clear analysis and synthesis presented; demonstrated insight into problem; conclusions strongly supported

Clarity of Writing

Ideas not expressed clearly; misspellings, incorrect grammar and punctuation

Writing is clear but not concise; paragraph or sentence structure repetitive or awkward

Writing is clear and concise; ideas are well-developed and coherent

Citations & References

Works cited were not listed for in-text citations or works cited included resources not mentioned in the report

Citations within text and in corresponding reference list were included with some formatting problems

In-text citations and reference list citations were complete and properly formatted

Adapted from Janet Rex's guide ( and Boote, D.N. & Biele, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher. 34(6) p. 8. Content in this box used with permission from Hannah Gascho Rempel at OSU Libraries.