REVIEW OF CURRENT THEORY


PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE

A review of current theory outlines a specific research question and then describes or evaluates the subject and scope of several research sources (scholarly articles,  reports, book chapters, etc.).  Its serves multiple purposes: it lets you understand the current status of a particular topic, it familiarizes you with the terms of the conversation currently circulating on this topic, and it lets you consider where you might enter the conversation yourself.

The review of current scholarship can appeal to a variety of readers: it might introduce a topic to others who are new to the field of composition studies (e.g., other members of this class); it might provide a new perspective to scholars in the field who normally explore other areas; it might alert practicing scholars to new research; it might provide a useful review and summary of  material for experts.  As both  your professor and practicing scholar, I will hope that your review of current theory will establish your authority on specific topic, explain your interest in a way that makes me understand the importance of the subject you've chosen to research, and demonstrate your abilities to research and evaluate a range of sources.



RESOURCES

For this assignment, you may want to explore several resources such as:

ERIC, Wilson, and the MLA bibliography are all available via FirstSearch, which you can access either on-line via the WVU Libraries' Web Page or on any terminal in any of the libraries. When searching any database, you should try lots of different keyword combinations. Ideally, you want to hit some combination that yields 50 entries or less.  If you are new to searching, be sure to check out the "HELP" section of FirstSearch.



FORMAT AND LENGTH

This review of current theory should take the form of an extended preface (about 3 pages) followed by an annotated bibliography.  (If you prefer to submit this project as a bibliographic essay or as some other form of researched essay, just talk with me first.)



WRITING PROCESS AND DUE DATES

EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

This assignment asks you to establish credibility in two ways: through the summary overview in your preface and through research. You will  need to use  audience awareness, organization principles, and document design skills to present your information; you will also draw on global and fine-tuning revision strategies.

When I evaluate this assignment (which is worth a total of 30 points toward your final grade), I will be looking at four areas:



GRADING: "A" work (93-100 pts.) is exemplary in content, professionally presented, and free of  errors.  "B" work (85-92 pts.) meets the requirements in every respect; no major revisions are needed, although a couple points might be strengthened; there are no more than two errors.  "C" work (77-84 pts.)  is adequate, but requires substantive revisions of  content and/or major surface revisions to improve style and mechanics.  "D" work (76 pts. and below) fails to meet the requirements of the assignment.

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