Instructions for the Literature Review Paper
This course gives you a broad introduction to public administration; therefore, the range
of potential topics is extensive. In fact, it may be so broad that you have difficulty determining
where to even begin choosing a topic. Here are some ideas that may help you get started:
If you currently work in a government or nonprofit organization, think about a problem
you have encountered in that workplace, or a problem the organization faces.
Do you have a particular topic that really interests you? If so, thatâ€™s a great place to start!
Read the news sources and websites about public administration. What problems does
government face? Is there a program or policy that is allegedly failing? Doing particularly well?
When all else fails, ask your professor . . .
A literature review paper is expected to present the results of scholarly research and
speculation on a particular topic over time. Your goal is to present to your reader how scholars
have thought about this topic, and do so in a way that illustrates how scholars may have changed
viewpoints, how their knowledge may have grown, matured, or deepened over time. So in your
narrative you should not only summarize the thoughts of these scholars, but
relate their ideas to others. You must demonstrate that you understand the content and how it relates to other content
â€”this is the essence of good, graduate-level writing and thinking.
Once you have selected your topic, you then have to access scholarly literature on that topic. In other words, your sources are expected to be
peer-reviewed journal articles.
The paper needs to be six to eight pages. There should be a minimum of 12-15 such sources.
The only acceptable alternative sources are government documents or government research reports.
Depending on your topic, they may have form the bulk of your sources. As always, bring me
your questions about appropriate sources. Papers should not include sources such as Wikipedia,
the dictionary, websites, and textbooks.
Structure of the Literature Review:
The literature review surveys the scholarly research on a
particular topic. Your literature review paper should divide this survey into themes within the
literature. The paper should be divided into the following sections:
Introduction of the topic
Analysis of the themes in the literature on your topic
Conclusion addressing the major findings in your literature and the meaning for your
topic and public administration overall
Use the APA Style Manual, 6th edition for style guidance. Your paper (exclusive of
bibliography and cover page) should not be less than six to eight pages.
The following are the deliverables for this paper.
A literature review that analyzes, instead of summarizing, the literature on a topic
A literature review that is six to eight pages in length
A literature review with 12-15 sources that are peer-reviewed and/or reports of public
A literature review that follows APA guidelines