Queens College
Division of Education
Secondary Education and Youth Services

Science Education Program

SEYS 777

Fall 2012

Dr. Brian Murfin

                                             Literature Review Rubric
The review of the literature must include primary research articles selected from respected research journals. 

The written review should be as objective as possible.  It should identify weaknesses or gaps in studies cited when appropriate.  

A subsection in the review might conclude with a statement that bridges the reviewed works to your study proposal if the connection is evident.

The final paragraph should summarize main findings and lead the reader directly back to the research questions and/or hypotheses introduced at the beginning of the paper. *

Objective: to review what is known and not known about topic of study. Written in present tense.

Writing Style


             Novice      5 points


Little or no consistency on writing style and/or corrections of drafts   

   Proficient      8   points


Proofed paper with correct spelling, syntax, grammar

Advance        10 points


Consistent,  correct  use of APA style;  proofed final draft.


Identify problem & restate the research question/issue/problem.



Preview the contents of the review to follow. Explain the criteria used to select studies.


Refer to the subsection heads in the introduction as sign posts for the reader to know what is coming.

Overview of the Context of Literature

Contextualize this review topic in the field of (educational…) literature by identifying the  key area(s) of literature under analysis.


Identify the theoretical framework that  this 

 research comes out of or is influenced by.


Establish writer’s reasons for reviewing the literature.  Describe organization of the review as well as why certain research is excluded.

Literature Review:


Subject Exposition


Use layman terms to describe the  research area, but define and use  jargon or specific terminology where needed.  Use “umbrella” sentences at the  beginning of paragraphs and brief “so what” summary sentences at  appropriate points to aid in  understanding



Group research studies according to common

 denominators, such as qualitative vs  quantitative approaches, conclusions of authors, sample populations, similar data…

Cite overall patterns/trends.


Illustrate multiple author views with distinction,  including conflicts in the theory, methodology,  evidence and conclusions or gaps in research or  scholarship. 

Identify the strengths and weaknesses in the research area.

Connections Within/Between the Literature;


Summarize major contributions of  significant studies and their impact to reinforce the focus

established in the introduction.



Explain why/ how each of the subsections builds a strong foundation for your research question or /problem/issue… especially if areas aren’t  obviously inter-connected. Use the minimum # required references, meet paper length requirement.


Provide a strong rationale for transitions from one connection to the other. End with a concluding statement that encompasses research question/issue. Incorporate many appropriate references.







________  (of 50 possible pts). 

Proposal submission evaluated separately (10 pts).  




* Partially excerpted from www:guides.library.fullerton.edu/infocomp/Science_Ed/