Topic: conduct a literature review on Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Topic: conduct a literature review on Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Paper details:
DET Coursework guidance 2015 This brief document is designed to help you with your literature review coursework. To remind you, the coursework is this: The literature review will incorporate the following: a critical evaluation of up to ten items from economics literature and up to ten items of other literature (strict maximum of 2000 words) (80% of mark) ‘Economics literature’ means peer-reviewed academic journals in economics. Anything which is not that counts as ‘other literature’. That therefore includes: Articles written for a specialist economics audience eg. in The Economist or The Financial Times, or blogs by economists Academic articles from other disciplines, eg. psychology, politics, sociology or environmental management, Opinion pieces in a newspaper Books Be judicious in your choices. The point of the exercise is to see how you can identify and assess arguments from a range of sources; ten articles from The Economic Journal pitted against ten leaders in The Daily Mail isn’t likely to give you much opportunity to demonstrate your ability to evaluate and synthesise across disciplines. Assessment will be submitted via Blackboard. The hand-in date is: Wednesday 1st April, 2pm. In line with Faculty policy on word limits, please note that we reserve the right not to read work which goes beyond the word limit. Also, note that endnotes/footnotes, tables and text are included in the word count; appendices and references are not included. However, appendices may not be awarded credit. Grading Criteria: The lecture summary will be graded on accuracy and effectiveness, including proper paraphrasing. In particular you should aim not to simply present a list of things said by the speaker, but to identify and highlight the key themes, arguments and conclusions of the lecture. The literature review will be graded on your ability to critically evaluate a body of literature and your ability to assess the research. Volume of reading is less important than your ability to analyse arguments, consider alternative perspectives, and synthesise a conclusion; hence the limit on the number of references you use. You should choose a sufficient number of references to allow different opinions to be presented, and should also apply the economist’s perspective to relevant other sources. The notes will be graded acceptable/not acceptable only. They will be used to provide a formative assessment (i.e. for the student’s own development). For the literature review, let’s explore a bit more what we need from you. What is a literature review? Refer back to Lecture 4. A literature review is a critical review of others’ work, not merely a summary of what is there. It is necessarily selective and will focus on what you have judged to be the key issues present in the existing literature. A literature review asks 3 main questions: What do we know; and what do we not know? This could include, for example a summary of empirical research and data analysis, highlighting differences in findings (particularly ones that are hard to explain), gaps in the research, and problems with data sources and availability. What are areas of controversy? This could include, for example highlighting differences of opinions over theoretical concepts, methodological procedures, data analysis techniques and so on. What do we need to know? For example – what is missing from the literature? Why? What are the implications for our conclusions about the question we are interested in? What should future research focus on? At the end of your literature review you should be able to offer answers to these questions. Some FAQs How many citations should I include? We have specified a maximum of between 10-20: ten from economics; ten from elsewhere. You should choose a sufficient number of references to allow different opinions to be presented. Should my references only be from economics? No: all of the topics of the guest lectures have been deliberately chosen because they are the type of interdisciplinary challenge faced by practising economists. However, you should try to examine all the literature from an economist’s perspective. Should I try to survey a whole area, or can I focus more? Some of the guest lectures may be on very broad topics. Clearly you cannot do a deep analysis of all the literature on some topics. However you might be able to find a survey article on the topic, which identifies for you the key areas of controversy. You could then choose one of these and do the remainder of your review on that one area. The key is that your choice is based in the literature. I am struggling to fill 2000 words, what should I do? First, remember that you do not have to fill 2000 words: it is a strict limit. However, your problem ought to be that 2000 words are not enough. Remember in the literature review we want you to discuss the literature, and critically evaluate it, as far as you can. Thus you ought to be writing. Remember though to write as efficiently as I can. Is writing style important? As you know, one of the skills employers want in economists is better communication. Good writing is an example. Good writing means that your meaning is clear, logical, grammatically correct and persuasive. Indeed, material which is written well is more persuasive. If you want help with writing style, consult the Academic Support Centre. http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/bbs/aboutus/studentexperience/academicsupportcentre.aspx I have only just started university: how can I be expected to critically evaluate literature? Well, remember you already do it. The key thing is to get others to do the work for you. When you find an article, who else has read it? How have they criticised it? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. I haven’t chosen my topic yet: is it OK if I leave it for a while? It’s best not to do that. If you haven’t already done so, you should choose your topic now. Start your initial searches now. Identify some themes in the literature. I am planning to start work on this the weekend before: will that be OK? You can guess the answer to that question. You should never hand in your first draft: you can always improve on it. Write a draft, leave it for a bit; then go back to it. You will always find things you can express better, using fewer words, clarify understanding, etc. Also, a danger of leaving it late is that you end up plagiarising – either by accident (you forgot to paraphrase something), or by panicking and resorting to desperate measures. Don’t do it: it is bad academic practice and easy to spot. Before you hand in your literature review make sure you proof read it carefully, looking for typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. You should do this once you are happy that the content is OK. It is very hard to scan for both content and presentation simultaneously. Use a spell-checker! How do I start? Try to find a survey article to help you identify a key area. Use this to identify key literature. Use search tools (e.g. Google Scholar) to identify who has cited the literature you discuss, and who they have cited. You are following a trail. What if I am stuck? Have a look at the slides under Assessment in Blackboard for more information about how to do a literature review. The Academic Support Centre also helps on doing literature reviews. Finally, look at this Library webpage http://iskillzone.uwe.ac.uk/RenderPages/RenderRoom.aspx?Context=10&Area=8&Room=47 This is not an exhaustive list of questions: if you have others, please do ask

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