1. This part of your research paper is going to add depth and credibility to the discussion of your chosen topic. Part of the university experience is being able to combine both scholarly research with practical application. Whether it’s business or in the helping professions, we should always be making decisions based on relevant data. If we don’t then many of the decisions were going to make will be arbitrary or based on emotion, and ultimately lacking credibility. The same is true in scholarly research. The conclusions you make about your chosen topic should be based on relevant data, both from the real world and from academia. This adds credibility to what you have to say. To that end, your literature review of your topic will encompass the scope of this paper (Assignment 3). So that your paper is based on good information, you will need to limit your research to academic textbooks, scholarly journal articles. Professional research journals are sometimes published as e-journals, which would be okay. Another acceptable source would be trade journals produced by professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association or American Counseling Association because they are written by scholars/experts. Be sure that the majority of sources you use are from the last 10 years or so.
If you have never written a literature review before, you may want to do a general search of the web (there’s a lot of “how to” help out there) to get a general idea. However, keep in mind that a literature review can be a large paper in itself. Therefore, the literature review for this section of your final research paper would probably be considered, by most standards, a miniature literature review (Approx. 4-7 pages). The overall point of doing a literature review for this research paper is to educate the reader on what experts say about your topic and thus provide a solid foundation. Your literature review is probably going to have the most parenthetical citations in the body of your paper.
2. Always include a title page, use the same abstract, and reference section with each assignment (appendices if needed). Again each assignment will look like a stand-alone paper. However, when you combine them for the final paper (Assignment 5) you will do some final editing to make it all flow as one paper with one title page, reference section, appendices, etc.
3. Reminder, Assignments 2-4 are only participation grades to keep you on track and moving forward. You are welcome to edit and change anything you want regarding these weekly assignments leading up to putting together the final paper (Assignment 5). In other words, if you reach the week of the final paper and you realize that you need to change something in your writing or content in Assignment 2, you are free to do so as much as you like, nothing is set in stone prior to turning in the final paper.