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Working Research Plan, you will find that the Literature Review is mostly written or at least planned out in detail through the Synthesis Matrix. I have attached the matrix this is vital for this assignment and must be done from the content in it.

The handout below explains what you need to know to write the introduction. It provides a clear format and multiple EXAMPLES/SAMPELS that have been annotated; most of the examples were written by students for this class so you are looking at real-world models.

For the introduction, pull mostly from your Working Research Plan Part 3, Social and Research Exigence.

For now we need the intro, and later on when we receive info on the body we will begin with it.

I will attach the working research plan document once I find the tutor!

Literature Review Assignment
See Week 14 for all Due Dates
Overview: This is a mini literature review essay that uses eight (8) scholarly
sources to explore your research question. This is not a persuasive essay, so you
don’t need to take a position or stake a claim and then try to justify it with
evidence. You start with a research question (Working Research Plan Part 1),
gather sources related to that question (Working Research Plan Part 4), and then
report on the conversation among your sources around the key concepts (Working
Research Plan Part 5) of your research question (Synthesis Matrix, Part 6). The
emphasis is on exploration and inquiry, not on presenting a tidy answer, which is
why you will NOT be including a conclusion.
Purpose: Like analysis, synthesis helps you practice close reading, summarizing,
and evaluating, and then it adds the step of forwarding a conversation among
sources (see the Harris readings for a refresher on the concept of forwarding). With
synthesis, you are not only entering the conversation, you are also observing and
moderating it.
Audience: You will choose a target audience, which will help you decide what
information and what conversations you want to highlight in your paper. Your
target audience will also influence your section about further research. You will
need to decide how familiar your audience may be with various terms and concepts
and provide appropriate context, definitions, and/or explanations. Think back to the
rhetorical choices you made in the Article Translation assignment and how your
choices were based largely on the audience you chose for your letter.
Length: No fewer than six (6) pages. No more than eight (8) pages. Equivalent
to between 1400-1800 words. Page length does NOT include any title page, the
References page, or the half-page that some of you add at the beginning with
student and class information! 😉
Literature Review, English 302, GMU, Fall 2020 (Rickless)
p. 1
Format: Your essay needs to have four major sections with the following
section titles as outlined below to separate and make clear each section.
Do NOT make this a continuous long essay with no section titles or subtitles!
NOTE: Make sure your document includes, at minimum, your name, class/section
number, and date.

Introduction: this will include all the rhetorical elements for your project.
1-1.5 pages.

Synthesis: this will be based on the synthesis matrix and should have a
discussion of at least three key concepts/relationships. Within the Synthesis
section, there should therefore be 3 subsections with appropriate subtitles.
Remember that you are looking for the conversation and connection among
sources, which means that each paragraph should include references to
two or more sources. This is NOT a summary of each source. Remember to
include in-text citations in either APA style or your discipline’s preferred style
(Zotero can help with this!).
4-6 pages.

Further Research: this will include relevance (your target audience) as
well as implications—where you think more research is needed based on the
conversations you have reported on.
1-1.5 pages. Do NOT include a conclusion.

References list. It should be in alphabetical order unless your preferred
citation style uses a numbering system.
How to Approach this Assignment
1. From your Working Research Plan, you came up with a research question (Part
1) and wrote about social exigence and research exigence (Part 3). By adding
object of study and relevance (how your research might be used by your target
audience), you can your introduction to introduce all the rhetorical elements of
your project. Your introduction will also indicate the three sections you will be
addressing in the synthesis.
2. From your Working Research Plan, you have already chosen 8 sources you want
to use. You may use statistics or definitions or something else from additional
and/or popular sources to provide context in the introduction but not as part of
the synthesis. If you use ANY information that came from another source, it
also must be cited in the text and in the References in addition to your 8
scholarly sources.
Literature Review, English 302, GMU, Fall 2020 (Rickless)
p. 2
3. In your Working Research Plan, you already wrote a source summary or
annotation (Part 4) for each of the 8 sources you are using. This will help you
become familiar with the rhetorical elements of each source.
4. Based on the general observations and analysis in the source summaries (Part
5), you have filled out the Synthesis Matrix (Part 6) with how each source
relates to the three key concepts you are discussing. The synthesis matrix
provides a map/outline of your essay.
5. In your Working Research Plan, you already wrote about implications and
further research. Expand on that section (Part 7) to direct your further research
recommendations to your target audience.
Literature Review, English 302, GMU, Fall 2020 (Rickless)
p. 3
Writing the Introduction
Your introduction will have three paragraphs and should be a total of between 1 and 1.5 pages
(double-spaced). You already have almost all of this information in your Working Research

Paragraph 1 will give background/context that uses some of your sources (though
maybe not all of them)
o Use the scholarly vocabulary and key terms from your sources
o Include research, in a general way, with appropriate citation
o Include your object of study
o Include social exigence, which usually means some kind of statistic or data or
way to make your reader pay attention to why this is important.

Paragraph 2 may give a bit more specific background and social exigence, and it must
give research exigence and purpose. To establish purpose, you also can add your
research question.

Paragraph 3 will give relevance and implications. It will include signposting (a list of
your sections in the body of the essay)
See the next pages for several model introductions. The first one was written by a professor as a
model. All of the others are student written for this class!
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Autonomy-Supportive Parenting and the Development of Well-Being in Adulthood
Commented [SER1]: This is the title of the whole essay.
Commented [SER2]: Notice how the introduction is
titled “Introduction.” Please do this.
Ever since Aristotle distinguished between happiness as pleasure (Hedonism) and happiness as
living well (Eudaimonia) in his seminal work The Nicomachian Ethics (Ryan, Huta, and Deci,
2012), Western scholars have been discussing what living well entails and the various ways that
living well might be promoted and maintained. In Aristotle’s time, living well included
realizing one’s telos, or full potential (Joshanloo, 2012), and it involved thinking through one’s
choices and actions (Ryan et al., 2008). In fact, according to Aristotle, the process of thinking
through one’s choices and actions is what separates us from animals (Joshanloo, 2012). In more
recent times, Aristotle’s conception of happiness as living well has remained relevant, especially
in Western societies; current research, however, has extended Aristotle’s thinking about
Eudaimonia with the use of empirical data. Ryan et al., for example, relied on empirical studies
to develop a model of Eudaimonia that is based on Self Determination Theory. They argued
that acting in autonomous rather than controlled ways, and pursuing intrinsic rather than
extrinsic goals, will lead to a eudemonic life of lasting happiness.
One of the many sub-fields of well-being studies has focused on the ways various
parenting practices, such as autonomy granting and relatedness, might lead to well-being, both
in the long and short run. For example, in order to support their working model of Eudaimonia,
Ryan et al. forwarded Kasser et al. (1995) and Williams et al. (2000) to demonstrate that great
parental autonomy support, i.e. allowing children to make choices and acknowledging their
feelings, can lead to the pursuit of intrinsic goals in adolescence, which, Ryan et al. argued,
would in turn lead to Eudaimonic living. The study by Williams et al. also concluded that when
parents support their children’s autonomy, the children not only grow up to pursue more
intrinsic goals than extrinsic goals, but they engage in less risky behavior, such as smoking.
Despite this research, there is still much to learn about how autonomy-supportive parenting
promotes Eudaimonia on a micro-level, and the connection between autonomy-supportive
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER3]: Notice how this first paragraph
provides background leading to the topic, WITH
SOURCES and appropriate citations.
parenting practices with children and Eudaimonic living in adulthood has not been sufficiently
Commented [SER4]: This is research exigence.
The current project examines the role of autonomy-supportive parenting in the
development of well-being in order to extend the work of Ryan et. al. (2008). I define both well-
Commented [SER5]: This is purpose. It explains what
this project is trying to do.
being and autonomy-supportive parenting, demonstrate the benefits of an autonomysupportive parenting style, and show the connection between autonomy-supportive parenting
in childhood and the development of well-being in adulthood.
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER6]: This is signposting. It tells the
reader what subsections to expect in the body of the
Teacher Diversity in the Classroom: How Can Changes in the Public Education Bureaucracy Affect
Classroom Environments and Increase Minority Student Test Scores?
Today’s classroom is a highly diverse place, with students coming from all over the world
spanning an incredibly amount of ethnicities that need to be represented. Although there are a large
number of ethnic groups in the school systems across the country, through a lack of faculty awareness and
ethnic majority focused school district policy making, there is not an equal pathway to success as
compared to the white student majority. In an article in Multicultural Education, Christine Clark (2011)
provides a personal perspective on the argument of if diversity initiatives are even fiscally smart, and
what it means for large institutions. Clark surmises that the challenge of creating a diverse education body
and system is creating one that is fully equitable, not purely equal. Clark writes, “For everyone to, in fact,
be equal, or at least become more equal, we must treat people equitably—in a manner crafted to
accurately assess the differential impact of the education debt in order to summarily eradicate the
corresponding achievement gap (59).” Forming an equal field of judgment is the end goal for having a
diversity focused education system, and to create such a system, the ethnic make-up of members of the
bureaucracy creating the policies must be the same as the goal for the future of their clientele. Jason
Grissom (2017) draws in the concept of the formation of equality in the policy making of schools by
writing, “bureaucracies that are representative of their clients are more equally distributive of policy
outputs (397).” Having a body of ethnically diverse policy makers and school faculty is merely the
beginning of creating a fully equitable situation for all learners. The students themselves need to be
engaged and connected in the classroom. Both Jayakumar Museus and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng agree
and cite in their studies that the more a student is represented in the classroom by a teacher of their same
race and ethnicity, their perceptions of the classroom environment and their success will both
significantly increase. (Museus, 2012; Cherng 2016) The exigence for this paper is to provide a
foundation for the lack of research documenting the connections between the bureaucratic policy making
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
of individual schools and their faculty ethnic make up to how students perceive their education
environment and the effects on their corresponding success rates.
Much of what we see as institutional diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts are not ingenuous
and do not provide for the true betterment of underprivileged minority groups, and are more of a “white
Commented [SER7]: In this social and research
exigence paragraph, this student is laying out the
general ideas from the sources being used (with
Commented [SER8]: This is research exigence.
savior” mentality to be viewed as socially aware in the public eye. In the education system of today’s
America, the need for equity between students is so incredibly important and there is a lack of real efforts
and policy creation to push past historical privilege and to form a new mentality behind the institution as a
whole. When ‘looking at the forest through the trees’ of the national education system, one question that
arises is if diversifying the ethnic make-up of the teaching population will have a significant effect on the
success rates of minority students? The sources in this paper indicate the incredibly short answer to the
question is yes, while the long answer engages in different aspects of how students react to teachers of
other ethnicities, how the ethnic make-up of a body of a school faculty can change their own perceptions
of the students and what this means in the ever so coveted standardized test scores.
This paper will begin to draw connections between several sources that together can provide a
pathway to answering this simple, but incredibly complex question. The need for this question to be
answered is dire, as the equality of people of color in this country is constantly in dire straits and not
always as clear as Yes or No. The implications of the findings in this paper are that change is possible and
creating a sustainable bureaucracy that will allow for truly representative learning will only yield positive
results not limited to the underprivileged minority students but to even the majority white students as well
as cultural awareness can be brought into the classroom and everyone benefits from a more cognizant and
thoughtful learning environment. First to be analyzed will be the bureaucratic approach to creating a
diverse system, followed by how students perceptions of their teachers and their environment are changed
once they are matched with a teacher of their same racial identity and then how it ultimately translates
into success rates of varying measure.
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER9]: This is purpose.
Exploring the application of preference learning in food preference prediction: Methods to
allow a more generalized input space in conjunction with preference groupings when
constructing a model
In a climate where an insurmountably large body of information is available at a
moment’s notice, multi criteria decision making, where multiple attributes are considered in the
decision making process [5], is being used more than ever. Preference learning (PL) is an up and
coming field [2]-[5] that seeks to employ multiple methods from machine learning to predict
Commented [SER10]: Notice how the introduction starts
fairly specifically. It does not start with a vague “Since
the dawn of time…” phrase.
behaviors of a human decision maker (DM), when faced with such multi-criteria decisions
(MCDs). Machine Learning (ML) is, in this case, broadly defined as an area of study focused on
“computational methods using experience to improve performance or make accurate
predictions.” [1] Preference learning strategies have applications in a variety of fields, including,
but not limited to finance/business [2], decision support [4] and, most notably in current times,
online social/advertising recommendation software [6].
In general, the goal of most preference learning algorithms is take a bulk of information
and use it to develop a model that can accurately predict DM actions. The input space for such an
algorithm consists of, in the simplest case, a pairwise representation of known preferences or, in
more complex cases, very general data that points to trends the DMs action. The model space for
such an algorithm consists of either a utility function [3] or a binary predicate [5]. One important
aspect of such model spaces is their ability to accommodate attribute aggregation, or, rather, the
consideration of what effect certain attributes have together, rather than just as a sum of their
parts (i.e. How important is it for something to be both sweet and spicy, rather than just spicy or
sweet independently) [5]. Though much research has been done using algorithms that consider
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER11]: This paragraph sets up a general
attribute aggregation, and a sizeable amount has been done with algorithms that allow for a more
general input spaces, not a lot of research has been done into algorithms that cohesively combine
both of these ideas. Food preference is one such application where both of these must be
It is this problem of food choice, in particular, which guides the direction for the rest of
this project. Not to say the problem of overgenerality in sample data is rare by any means, but
that food is one of the more impactful applications where a more general preference learning
algorithm could be applied. Imagine how much food gets disposed because the diner in question
didn’t realize the dish they ordered did not conform to their palate; Imagine how much easier it
would be for mothers to purchase new food their children, who may not yet themselves be able
to communicate preference. It is problems such as these which we seek to solve. We will start by
discussing the importance of defining a good model space in preference learning, providing some
well-studied approaches. We will then move to how these model spaces accommodate the
aggregation of multiple attributes. Finally, we will conclude with a look at the current state of
training data representation.
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER12]: Research exigence.
Make America Scientific Again: Raising Climate Science’s Credibility to Enable Climate Change Action
Global climate change is happening and harmful, and humans are the driving force behind it.
Nearly all scientists agree on this interpretation of the evidence, yet more than half of Americans
deny either that humans are causing climate change, or that it is occurring at all (Watts et al.
2019, p. 149). Unfortunately, the set of climate-change deniers includes the current US
administration, which has made the scientifically accepted existence of anthropogenic climate
change, and the necessity of mitigation actions, into controversial and politicized issues.
Although climate change denial is not uniquely an American problem, the United States is both
the second greatest emitter of greenhouse gases and the country with the largest proportion of
deniers (Watts et al. 2019, pp. 150, 147).
Since climate change denial is rampant in the US and to a lesser degree in other
countries, there is a need for strategies to successfully convince people that it actually exists
and is a problem, and that mitigation is necessary. In order to decide on how to effectively
educate people on climate change, it is also necessary to understand their reasons for denying
it. Although there have been numerous research projects studying specific aspects of the
psychology of denial, or ways to reduce or prevent denial in certain situations, there is still a
need for a broader-scope review to compile the disparate findings into a useful handbook.
This project explores the reasons behind climate change denial, strategies for countering
it, and ways to educate people to inoculate them against it.
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER13]: Research exigence.
The Effect of Meditation and Mindfulness on Individuals in the Workplace
Mindfulness is something that has only relatively recently made its way into the United
States. In fact, its arrival is attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Stress
Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979 (Shea,
2016). It was there that he developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program,
based on Buddhist teachings. Later, he renamed the program, calling it “MindfulnessBased Stress Reduction” (MBSR). With this renaming came the removal of the
program’s Buddhist roots, instead putting a scientific context on the program. The
concept has slowly been gaining popularity since then. But now, with the sudden
explosion of concern over mental health, so has the concept of Mindfulness Meditation
as part of a remedy. The workplace has become a huge focus for researchers on the
subject, as this delves heavily into the realm of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
(I/O). In fact, Davis (2015) heavily focuses on the connection between I/O psychology
and positive psychology, and how mindfulness meditation can help strengthen it.
When looking back through the research done on the concept of mindfulness, it
seems that although plenty of methods and studies have come about, the process of
mindfulness meditation has always been conveyed through a program. But how would
continued and conscious application of mindfulness meditation affect an employee
during their working hours? There is such a stigma still surrounding mental health in the
workplace, and even when stress or anxiety becomes an issue, people are told just to
deal with it. That is not the way that the world is turning in today’s society. Auten (2018)
covers the ways that mindfulness meditation may destigmatize mental health in the
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER14]: Social exigence.
workplace, along with bringing more attention to the resources available for the combat
of mental health issues. That being said, this field is still very much a work in progress.
There remains much research to be done on the most effective methods of conveying
the concept of mindfulness, and how to get it to stay.
Therefore, this project will go over the current knowledge pertaining to
mindfulness and meditation, and its relation to Industrial/Organizational psychology.
Along with this will be the barriers that may be encountered by workers, specifically
those from Generation Z, as this generation is of particular relevance to myself. Mental
health and mindfulness meditation’s effect on it will be explored, as well as various
methods of achieving the state of mindfulness.
Sarah Rickless, George Mason University (rev. Spring 2020)
Commented [SER15]: Research exigence.
Rhetorical Elements of a Scholarly/Academic Text
The following elements usually can be found in this order when reading a scholarly
article. Although there may be some variations by discipline, an academic research
article will include these elements somewhere.
***For now, focus on the elements with an asterisk. Don’t get distracted by the
Methodology or Main Findings; you will get to those later!

TO READ FOR RHETORICAL ELEMENTS and other important things:
Note the affiliations of the author(s) (ethos)
Note the journal title and year of publication
Read the title (see “Object of Study”)
Read the abstract QUICKLY—keep moving!
Read the introduction
Read the introduction AGAIN (and maybe a third time) and mark the
rhetorical elements you find.
– Skip to the end of the article and scan the References.
– Start reading from the end of the article and read the Conclusion and
whatever section comes before it (it might be called Discussion or Further
Research or Implications—not the body of the article where the research is
described). Mark the rhetorical elements you find.
Abstract: Ignore the abstract (for now )! Its value is in deciding whether to read
on to the introduction. Although abstracts include all the rhetorical elements of a
project, they are essentially a summary of a summary and will not give you enough
information for understanding the project.
**Social Exigence: What is the larger context of this project? Why do the authors
say this project is significant (either more broadly for part of society or more
specifically within the field, or both). Look for some kind of statistic or
generalization, almost always in the introduction, and there may be more than one.
Social exigence answers the “So What?” question about why someone should care
about this research. It is also often presented as background.
**Research Exigence: Why did the authors undertake this project? What was the
implicit or explicit question that shaped their research? Usually there is some gap in
knowledge that is pointed to, such as “There’s some research on X, but not much
on the Y part of X”; note that this gap can be quite small. Look for terms of contrast
or negation (e.g., but, however, despite, nevertheless, no, none, not) and terms
like problem or concern, although these are not always obvious. Almost always in
the introduction, and there may be more than one. Every research project has a
research exigence! It comes out of the research question.
**Object of study: What are the specific things that the authors are studying?
What is this project about? What is it studying? Look for at least two or more key
terms and the relationship between the two terms. Usually in the title and the
rev Fall 2020 (Rickless)
Rhetorical Elements of a Scholarly/Academic Text
**Purpose: What is the goal of this specific project? What are the authors trying
to do with their project? You may see terms such as aim, goal, focus, reason for, or
hope. This is usually some kind of action but not the kind you might think—
sometimes they are just investigating (interviewing, an experiment, aggregating
other research studies, etc.). This is almost always explicitly stated in the
Methodology: What research methods were used by the authors to answer their
research questions? What did they do to gather their data and what kind of data did
they gather? Look for a methods section or verbs like conduct, study, gather,
select, survey, interview, or observe.
Main Findings/Discussion: What are the main results, findings, or conclusions
from the research that was conducted? You might see terms such as This
suggests…, These results mean…, One way to interpret these findings… This is
more than just the body of the article. The main findings are connected to the other
rhetorical elements in how they are presented and interpreted.
**Relevance: Who do they say might benefit from their research? What do the
authors suggest is the significance of their work to various groups in or outside of
the field? This might appear in the introduction, discussion, conclusion, or
implications section. Relevance may need to be inferred.
One question that frequently comes up is “how is relevance different from social
exigence?” The difference is that social exigence is broader and related to
significance in terms of why this is an important project to undertake (although
note that the reason will be more specific than “this is important for everyone to
know”), whereas relevance targets a particular group(s) that the authors feel may
benefit from this specific research.
**Implications (Further Research): Where does this source indicate new ideas
or conclusions resulting from the project? What further research do the authors
suggest is needed? This is often fairly explicit. Look for these in the discussion,
implications, further research, synthesis, etc. sections.
Conclusion: In an academic article, the conclusion is often (not always) less
relevant because it is simply a summary of the rhetorical elements. Focus on the
other rhetorical elements.
References: These are one of the most useful elements in a scholarly article. They
tell you about the focus and direction of the research. Look at titles of the articles
used as references; look at what kinds of journals these articles are coming from.
The references tell the story of the research journey.
rev Fall 2020 (Rickless)

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