IFN600 Understanding Research
Assignment 1: Literature Analysis
ASSIGNMENT TYPE: Analysis of published research
TO BE COMPLETED: Individually
DELIVERABLE: Written document (PDF preferred)
SUBMISSION METHOD: Blackboard upload
A critical part of developing a research project proposal is to review existing knowledge relevant
to the problem to be solved. To help you identify a worthwhile research problem, in this
assignment you will review previously-published research that describes what is already known
about your chosen topic. By doing so you will provide a context for your research problem and
provide evidence that the topic is worthy of investigation.
To do this you must evaluate several previous research publications in the specific area of your
chosen research problem. From within these prior publications you will identify particular
contributions that are directly relevant to your topic, thus showing how this prior work supports
your argument for the novelty, value and feasibility of your own research idea.
How to recognise relevant literature
To complete this assignment you must find high-quality literature directly relevant to your
chosen research problem. See the Week 2 teaching materials on Blackboard for ways of finding
relevant literature and for the characteristics of trustworthy publications.
Previously-published research may be useful to your argument for the value of your own
research idea in any of the following ways:
• It may address a research problem very similar to yours, thus providing evidence for the
significance of your own problem. (It may even directly state the need to conduct future
research on your chosen topic.)
• It may have used a research methodology, tools or a technique that you could re-use in
your own research, thereby providing supporting evidence for the ability to solve your
• It may have produced results or data that you can directly use in your own research.
• It may define benchmarks, precedents or standards relevant to your research problem,
thus helping you express the necessary criteria for successfully solving it.
IFN600 UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH | ASSIGNMENT 1: LITERATURE ANALYSIS | 2018 2
How much to write
You should write enough to make your argument clear, no more, no less. You will be assessed
on the quality of your writing, not its quantity. In particular, the technical aspects of your idea
must be easily comprehensible by a layperson. It should not be necessary for the reader to be
an expert in the particular technical field or domain to understand and appreciate your
arguments. Specialised terminology and abbreviations should be explained clearly or, better
yet, avoided altogether.
Similarly, you should cite only as many publications as needed to make your argument
convincing. Each publication you cite must clearly provide support for conducting research on
your chosen topic, either in terms of the novelty, value and/or feasibility of the research.
There is no fixed word limit for the document or a required number of references. Nonetheless,
as a rough guide, we expect you will need about 1,500 to 2,000 words to explain your argument
clearly and around 5 to 7 references to demonstrate that you have searched the literature
thoroughly. (The markers will not count how many words you have written!)
Analysing the literature is an important step in determining whether or not there is a need to
conduct research on a particular topic. It is also the process for positioning your proposed
research within existing knowledge and theory.
Your task is to identify a problem you would like to use as the basis for the research proposal
you will develop this semester and to write an analysis of the published literature related to
The primary requirement for this assignment is to argue the case for undertaking research on
your chosen problem. To do so you must convince the reader that the research problem you
have identified is:
• Novel — To qualify as research the problem must be one that has not been solved
• Important — The problem must be one whose solution will be of significant value.
• Solvable — The problem must be one which has a reasonable prospect of being solved
with contemporary tools and techniques.
In order to convince the reader of these points your argumentation must be:
• Clear — Your writing must be easily understandable by a lay reader, avoiding uncommon
terminology and abbreviations.
• Concise — You must express your ideas efficiently, so that key points are not obscured
by irrelevant material.
• Coherent — Your arguments and the conclusions you draw must be structured logically.
• Convincing — The overall “story” you tell must be compelling and believable.
Your submission document needs to include the following major sections and include the
elements listed. You may choose to add subsections, but keep in mind the need to keep your
writing concise and the overall document as short as possible. Marks will be awarded for
quality, not quantity.
IFN600 UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH | ASSIGNMENT 1: LITERATURE ANALYSIS | 2018 3
1. Problem Statement
• State clearly the broad problem you wish to solve. Define or identify the general topic,
issue, or area of concern. (NB: You may change the research problem you described in
the weekly preparatory tasks. It is likely that your analysis of the literature will cause
you to rethink your chosen research problem.)
• Give the background of the problem area, addressing the following points as
o overall trends in what is known or has been published about the topic;
o conflicts in previous theory, methodology, evidence and conclusions;
o gaps in research and scholarship; and
o a single problem to be solved or a new perspective of immediate interest.
• Explain the strategy you used for finding, analysing and comparing literature.
• Explain how your analysis of the literature is organised (e.g., by theme, chronologically,
according to results achieved, according to the approach used, etc).
• State what is in and out of scope for your literature analysis:
o types of literature sources;
3. Literature Analysis
• Engage with different types of literature as necessary to support your argument (e.g.,
research studies, reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.).
• Unpack themes, highlight major concerns, influential studies, etc., in relation to your
• Synthesise your findings into a coherent summary of research related to your chosen
problem. In particular, you should not present unrelated, disjointed summaries of the
• Focus on areas of agreements, disagreements, tensions and contentious issues related
to your topic.
• Evaluate the current “state of the art” for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out
any gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues
pertinent to future study.
• Use citations to the literature throughout to support your claims. Where appropriate,
include direct quotations from the literature and/or paraphrase previous author’s
• Use strong “umbrella” or topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph, and brief
“so what” summary sentences at intermediate points in the review, so the reader can
easily identify the theme or aspect of the theme being described and understand
comparisons and analyses.
IFN600 UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH | ASSIGNMENT 1: LITERATURE ANALYSIS | 2018 4
• Summarise major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of
knowledge under review, maintaining the focus on the research problem established in
your problem statement.
• Conclude by summing up and identifying the significance of your chosen research
problem in relation to the literature.
• Develop a brief recommendation for future studies into the problem in the context of
the outcomes of your literature analysis.
• Provide a list of all references cited in the previous sections using the APA referencing
• All the references you cite must be of high quality, typically as evidenced by peer review.
6. Reflective Statement
• Drawing on the weekly reflections you have written up to this point, write a short (2-3
paragraphs) on your engagement with the research process thus far.
• Ensure that your statement includes your thoughts on how you engaged with: (a) the
weekly tasks, (b) reflecting on the process of research, and (c) discussing your work within
your tutorial group.
• Write from your personal point of view (in the first person) highlighting key processes
which you found personally interesting and/or challenging.
• Reflect on how you engaged with these processes, the decisions that you made at the
time, and how you overcame any obstacles. Conclude your reflective statement with
thoughts on how you might approach similar tasks in the future, identifying what you
would keep the same, what you would change, and your reasoning behind these
1. Review of literature (2006). UW-Madison Writing Centre
2. Writing a literature review assignment (2014). RMIT-Study and Learning Centre
CYBER-BULLYING AMONG STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS 2
1. Problem Statement
The whole world has experienced advancement in the internet technology. Globalization
and the need to have and use advanced technology in communication have partially contributed
to the increased use of the internet in the learning institutions (Parchoma, 2006). The advanced
internet technology has contributed to the increased online learning in higher education
institutions (Brown, Jackson & Cassidy, 2006). As mentioned by Washington (2014) and Minor,
Smith and Brashen (2013), cyber- bullying is a social problem which has contributed to students
committing suicide, dropping out, or enduring torment while at school. Cyberbullying can be
defined as the electronic texting or posting of mean- spirited texts, photos, video and other
related materials about a person over the internet………..
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