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Literature Review

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You will create a 1,000-1,500 word literature review that incorporates at least seven scholarly sources and discusses the research around the your second topic and research question. The literature review should mention multiple perspectives on the topic and demonstrate a lack of bias on your part. You can refer to the sample research proposal for its literature review.

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For further instructions and explanation of this assignment, view this helpful video, which is the same one included in Week 4’s reading.

Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 4.


Student Name

Professor Name

INDS 400

12 February 2018

Topic and Research Question

Topic: Put your interdisciplinary topic here in under 30 words. And us your imagination! INDS students in the past have studied the criminalization of the African American narrative using film studies. They have also proposed research into American-Chinese relationships from a historical perspective, combining history and international relations. Make sure your topic in this section is just a topic, not an argument. A good litmus test to make sure what you write here is a topic is to write it as a phrase, not a full sentence. Here is an example of a good topic: “the effect of increased salt intake on high school reading comprehension scores.” Whatever you choose, make sure it is a topic you care about and that is relevant to you! You are going to be working on it for weeks, and it may turn into something you do research on in the future. If you work hard on this assignment and pick something you care about, the rest of the course will be MUCH easier than it would have been otherwise.

Sample: Put your sample here in under 20 words. Not sure what a sample is? Who or what are you proposing studying? If you are analyzing Moby Dick, then that book is your sample. If you are surveying teachers, the teachers are your sample. If you are analyzing the effects of homework on child creativity, then the children are your sample. Get very specific with your sample. For instance, instead of saying “children” in the salt intake example, you might want to specifically study “high school students, ages 16-17, diagnosed with ADHD who live in rural communities.” The narrower your sample, the more effective it will be.

Independent Variable: Put your independent variable here in under 20 words. What will you do to your sample to study it? In the examples above, the type of analysis I apply to Moby Dick, perhaps from a feminist perspective, would be my independent variable (IV). Or if I split the teachers I surveyed based on whether they were math or English teachers, then that sorting would be the IV. If you want to do more qualitative/interview based research (only do it if you are already comfortable with it as it is more complicated), your independent variable might be the focused types of questions you plan to ask and the coding process; if you don’t know what those mean, then probably stick to quantitative. Whatever you do, think of the IV as the thing you do to, the way you sort, or the way you analyze your sample. The IV is completely controlled by you. A good example of an IV would be this: “I will ensure one group gets 2.3 grams of salt per day and that the other gets 3.4 grams of salt per day” or you could changes things up and say that “one group will have diagnosed ADHD, and one will not.”

Dependent Variable: Put your dependent variable (DV) here in 20 words or fewer. Your dependent variable is how you will know if there is a significant result. For instance, if you were doing a feminist analysis of Moby Dick, a dependent variable might be whether you found a power imbalance between male and female characters or not. In the teacher survey example, a dependent variable might be whether the English or the math teachers were more likely to spend more time preparing their courses. Your dependent variable is how you know if there is a result or a significant difference caused by your independent variable. It is your measurement. For example, you could say something like this: “whether one group of students or the other has higher reading comprehension scores on an end-of-year test.”

Hypothesis: In under 50 words, make a prediction about the results of your proposed study using all the parts you’ve brainstormed above. But DO REMEMBER to not propose researching simply by reading what others have written. You have to propose original research, not just suggest we read other studies that have already been done. Your hypothesis might look something like this: “High school students, ages 16-17 with diagnosed ADHD who attend school in rural communities and who get 2.3 grams of salt per day will have higher reading comprehension scores on an end-of-year test than similar students who get 3.4 grams of salt per day.” Notice how the independent variable is an observable thing: the amount of salt. The dependent variable is measurable: test scores. And the sample is narrowed so it does not encompass all people. Also, remember, you are not arguing for your hypothesis. You are stating it and then proposing in the research proposal assignment (Week 7) that it be tested. Remain unbiased and do not draw conclusions here. Just state it as a prediction.

Research Question: Put your research question here in under 50 words. Your research question should be an exact copy of your hypothesis but as a question—keep the same words as much as possible! A research question is a rephrasing of the hypothesis and asks a specific question that can be clearly studied and answered. The question above may be rephrased as this: “Will high school students, ages 16-17 with diagnosed ADHD who attend school in rural communities and who get 2.3 grams of salt per day have higher reading comprehension scores on an end-of-year test than similar students who get 3.4 grams of salt per day?” Or a humanities student has asked this question before: “Did popular feminist ideologies in 1974 and 2017 respectively influence the film scores of the Wonder Woman movies released then?” The sample is the movies, the film scores being different is the dependent variable, and the different feminist ideologies of the times are the independent variables. In many ways, the research question is just a rephrasing of a hypothesis as a (usually) yes or no question as long as the hypothesis is detailed. There are times when a “how” or “what” question are appropriate such as “What do female medical school graduates attribute retention success to?” That usually leads into a more qualitative question rather than quantitative and is most appropriate when the hypothesis must be very broad because little research has been done on the topic, but these kinds of questions are rare. If you find yourself asking a question that starts with “What are ways that . . .” or “How can we improve . . .” STOP! Questions that openly ask for ways to fix things are not research questions. It is better to pick one way to fix things and then create a hypothesis and research question that could test whether it works or not. Remember that we are not fixers! We are questioners!

Disciplines Incorporated: List academic disciplines you plan to incorporate here without commenting on them—a simple, clear list will suffice. You need at least two and more than three will likely create too much of a research burden for you. Note that Liberty University’s listing of areas of study is not equivalent to a listing of disciplines. Some of the general areas of study are disciplines (aviation, education, government, etc.), but many of the sub-listed prefixes are as well (economics, journalism, English, mathematics, etc.), and some disciplines are not even listed (women’s studies, humanities, art history, military studies, gender studies, etc.). Behavioral sciences, health sciences, and social sciences are overarching categories, and you should be more specific if you want to use one of these. Keep in mind that statistics are often used with other disciplines (psychology, sociology, etc.), so if one of your disciplines already uses stats, do not mention stats. In our example of the rural children with ADHD, we might use health sciences and education as our academic disciplines.

Justification: In 100-150 words, convince your instructor that each discipline you mention will provide a helpful perspective on the topic. Show how your topic is complicated enough that it requires multiple perspectives and that the perspectives you have chosen are the best fits for the issue.

Topic and Research Question Instructions

Prompt: During Week 2, choose an interdisciplinary research topic to study and fill out the Topic and Research Question Assignment Model. During Week 3, based on instructor feedback, edit your submission and resubmit for further feedback using track changes to show the differences. This topic will be the one you work on throughout many assignments in this class culminating with the Research Proposal in Week 7.


1. You may not use first or second person.

2. Your grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be flawless. Visit the Liberty University writing centers if you want extra help: https://www.liberty.edu/academics/casas/academicsuccess/index.cfm?PID=38382

3. Use the Topic and Research Question Assignment Model when you do either stage of this assignment.

4. Week 2: Make sure that your topic is related to at least two unique academic disciplines and that at least one of them matches one of your personal areas of study. You can find what your areas of study are using DCPA.

5. Week 3: The second time you submit a draft for this assignment, pay close attention to instructor feedback and incorporate it into your own personal revisions of your topic, research question, and other elements of the model. Select “Track Changes” in Microsoft Word before you begin editing and submit your second draft with the changes showing.

Additional Suggestions:

1. Avoid gun control, marijuana legalization, abortion, homosexual marriage, and other charged political or moral topics unless you have a unique/narrow way to study them that’s never been studied before (which will be difficult).

2. Remember, even though interdisciplinary research topics are often broader than the average research topic, you need to narrow a lot. A student who begins with the topic “the healthiest foods to eat” could narrow it down to “breakfast foods that lead to higher energy levels” to “whether eating eggs for breakfast increases daily energy levels for women over age 80.” When you think you’ve narrowed enough, narrow your topic more.

3. Using the reading from Nissani, measure your combination to determine whether it truly is interdisciplinary. Combining literature and writing is not very interdisciplinary, but combining literature and math would be!

INDS 400

Topic and Research Question Grading Rubric

CriteriaLevels of Achievement
Content 70%Advanced 90-100%Proficient 70-89%Developing 1-69%Not present
Content32 to 35 pointsTopic is narrowed and interdisciplinary. Research question has specific possible answers. Topic and disciplines included are strongly justified.25 to 31 pointsTopic may be somewhat broad or verging on multidisciplinary rather than interdisciplinary. Research question may be too broad, and most disciplines seem relevant.1 to 24 pointsTopic is too broad to be researched in a short paper or is very multidisciplinary. Research question is largely inapplicable, and disciplines are irrelevant.0 pointsNot present
Structure 30%Advanced 90-100%Proficient 70-89%Developing 1-69%Not present
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, and Formatting13 to 15 pointsSpelling and grammar are correct. Sentences are complete, clear, and concise. Where applicable, references are cited in current APA format.10 to 12 pointsSpelling and grammar have some errors. Sentences are presented well. Where applicable, references are cited with some APA formatting.1 to 9 pointsSpelling and grammar errors distract. Sentences are incomplete or unclear. Where applicable, references are minimally or not cited in current APA format.0 pointsNot present


Bernard Ainooson

Professor Huldah Nagel

INDS 400

4 April 2021

Topic and Research Question

Topic: Effects of MarijuanaLegalization

Sample: Teenagers, aged 14-19 years

Independent Variable:

Teenager’s using marijuana versus not using one.

Dependent Variable:

Bad association and societal influence.


Teenager’s, aged 14-19 years, who are engaged in the use of marijuana are more likely to be engaged in violence and not do so well in school compared to their friends who do not engage is such act.

Research Question:

Is high teenage marijuana use one of the main effects of marijuana legalization?

Disciplines Incorporated:

The disciplines are incorporated in this research are; Science and History.


The issue of scientific clarity with respect to the damages of teenager’s marijuana use has substantial ramifications past affecting than the debate about if marijuana to be authorized to use or not. Consider a speculative climate where marijuana is legal for grown-up recreational utilization, generally accessible, and broadly accepted to be harmless or even helpful. Legalization infers that law implementation endeavors to control or diminish marijuana use will be restricted, leaving general wellbeing, clinical, and scientific associations to lessen hurt and teach the general population.

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