In this first literature review you will summarize the existing state of knowledge about a given topic (see Research Question below)The literature review is a wonderful opportunity to become an expert on a topic. You start to research what has been said already about a given topic, thereby becoming conversant in that topic. What does the academic community have to say about the topic? You provide a general overview of the topic. This has the advantage that you know and show what has already been researched on your topic so that you don’t waste time ‘reinventing the wheel’. While reading and exploring the current debate you are able to gain new ideas and perspectives on your topic. It helps you to understand to tackle blind spots, to see the flaws in the existing debate. How do you achieve this? You need to read, take notes, and critically engage in the debate.In a nutshell, a literature review has three main purposes:1) To summarize and synthesize findings emerging from previous literature and studies2) To show how accurate and complete the state of the debate3) To point towards core gaps in the literatureIn order to identify arguments and conceptual debates you need to show that you understand the main academic debates about the topic. How do you do that? Be a detective!First, you need to gain an overview of what has been said about your chosen topic. Start with the most salient debates, the most famous or frequently cited articles. There you will find further citations and links to other debates. Often scholars cite not only their peers but refer to contradicting views. Conduct your research always with the provided Research Question in mind (SEE BELOW)! Be selective with the literature; only include literature that has a direct bearing on the central focus of your research.Before you are able to synthesize your findings, you’ll need to:1) Make sure that you can summarize the main claim of each article/book chapter.2) You should be able to describe in a sentence or two the general argument of each item you read3) Instead of summarizing the articles as a whole, only focus on the aspects that are relevant to your research questionAfter you have collected all of the important information that you will need to contrast, compare and synthesize your findings. This means that you will need to critically engage in the debate. What are the conflicting ideas and how does your research relate to this? Read your summaries critically, try to first understand what the scholar tried to achieve with their research and if their conclusions contribute to your research topic. Compare multiple findings, relate them to your research topic and formulate your own arguments from the stated facts.Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the literature and show the blind spots in the debate. Engage in the literature critically and try to find out which questions remained unanswered.Some papers state information that is out-dated or flawed. You should always be critical and read your articles sceptically. We know that this is not an easy task. Bear in mind that even famous scholars can be wrong. Engage with publications in peer-reviewed, high-impact journals, but do not discount open access fora. Remember, there are always different perspectives, learn to perceive information from different angles. One blind spot can be that the authors might only have applied one theory to the phenomenon and you would like to research the topic from another perspective or simply update the facts.In order to compare you need to understand the different schools, arguments, and debates:i) Do not simply summarize item by item e.g., do not use this structure: Author A says this while Author B says that;ii) Instead: Group the studies or authors into camps or schools of thought;Iiii) You can group them by the theories they defend, or different methodological approaches or different policies they favour;iv) Chances are high that other scholars have classified the studies before;v) Get into the habit of associating individual authors and major camps or points of view with each other.RESEARCH QUESTION:IA: European Union sanctions and foreign policy: do they work?Be sure to include 10 academic sources and to correctly and consistently use the APA citation method.MAX ATTENTION: I am providing you already with 4 sources out of 10. Find their evaluation and summary in the file attached called: EU SANCTIONS 4 SOURCES. Therefore you will have to find 6 sources more.Words limit: Max 1,000 words (please include word count) .
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