Your literature review should provide a broad overview of the research that is important to your study.

Your literature review should provide a broad overview of the research that is important to your study.

Your literature review should provide a broad overview of the research that is important to your study. This section of your thesis should begin with a few introductory paragraphs where you frame the research topic and its significance. To do this you will need to summarize all of the major relevant arguments on the research subject, highlighting the main issues and how the various schools of thought differ. If there are key terms to define the reader should do that here. This section should be organized thematically, so rather an discuss one source within a paragraph you would organize your paragraphs around themes or arguments within the literature.  For example, if deterrence theory is important to your research (either it is the main theory in use, or parts of it are important to your research) you would discuss this concept using a variety of references that help demonstrate the scope of knowledge surrounding this theme.
The sources you use within your paper matter greatly to the overall credibility of your research.  For this reason a majority of your sources should be coming from peer-reviewed articles, scholarly texts, or other appropriate sources an websites.
The literature review is NOT an annotated bibliography or a “laundry list” of reviewed articles.  You should not be dedicating a paragraph or more to each source you consulted.  Instead the literature review, should capture and synthesize the issues in the research topic. At the end of this review, you should explain how your study will fit into this larger body of research that has already been carried out. What research gaps will you help try and fill?  What unanswered questions will you take into consideration?  Are you looking at this question using a different theoretical lens?  All of these questions are something that your literature review should answer. Ultimately you want to take time to remind readers of the importance of your research.
One thing to keep in mind as you proof read your literature review is that any information that is specific to your study’s findings should be discussed within the “Analysis & Findings” section of your thesis.  Within your literature review you should be focused on discussing the following:
Prior research that has attempted to answer your question.
Prior research that is important to understanding your research question or topic area.
Prior research that explains your theoretical framework.
Prior research that uses your theoretical framework to answer a different research question (this shows how the theory has been utilized in the past and how it can be harnessed within your study).
How your theoretical framework will be used to help you answer your question (keep in mind that the theory(or theories) you use within your research do not have to be a perfect fit.  In your findings and analysis section you would discuss how well it helps you answer your question).
Your literature review should be 12-18 pages in length and use Turabian “author-date” styles references throughout.  The only sources that should appear on your reference list are those that you referenced within the literature review itself.
Abstract –
In 2015 the Islamic Republic of Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and agreed to limit their nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions by the international community. This agreement occurred fourteen years after the events of September 11, 2001. During this timeframe, numerous sanctions were imposed by the United States, United Nations and the European Union with the intent of impacting Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The purpose of this research was to evaluate if these sanctions did impact Iran’s nuclear program through analyzing what sanctions were implemented, how they were implemented when they were implemented and what they targeted. The impacts of the sanctions were compared against the desired outcomes established by the United States, United Nations, and the European Union in their sanctions policies. Finally, this paper concludes with recommendations on how to improve future sanctions programs.
References (A few references that you could use to do the literature review…not mandatory though):
Atashbar, Tohid. “Iranian Disease: Why a Developing Country’s Government did not listen to Economists’ Advices”, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol 72 (3) July 2013.
Bolan, Christopher. “The Iranian Nuclear Debate: More Myths Than Facts”, The Parameters 43(2) (Summer 2013).
Clawson, Patrick. “U.S. Sanctions”, United States Institute of Peace, http://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/us-sanctions
Emerging Markets Monitor. “Iran: Second Ahmadinejad Term Bad News For Inflation”, Business Monitor International, 29 June 2009.
Esfandiary, Dina. “Assessing the European Union’s Sanctions Policy: Iran as A Case Study”, EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, Non-Proliferation Papers No. 34, December 2013.
Esfandiari, Haleh. Iran After the June 2005 Presidential Election, Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars: Middle East Programs (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Summer 2005).
Gerami, Nima and Pierre Goldschmidt. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Decision to Find Iran in Non-Compliance, 2002-2006, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, December 2012).
Iran Sanctions Loophole Elimination Act of 2013. S 892, 113th Congress 1st Sess., (8 May 2013).
Iran Threat Reduction And Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. Public Law 112-158, 112th Congress, 1st Sess., (August 2012).
Jiang, Julie and Chen Ding. “Update on Overseas Investments by China’s National Oil Companies”, International Energy Agency, 2014.
Sanger, David. Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (New York, NY: Random House Incorporated, April 2013).
 

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