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2014 IUPUI Research Day

We all have to do it: purpose and process of literature review

Authors: Deborah Lafata, graduate research assistant and MPA candidate

Anne Weiss, graduate research assistant and PhD candidate

Rachel Thelin, project manager and senior policy analyst

Sheila Suess Kennedy, director and professor

IU Center for Civic Literacy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


The Center for Civic Literacy (CCL) at IUPUI is a Signature Center Grant recipient. CCL is a multi-disciplinary research center established to examine the causes and dimensions of Americans’ low levels of civic knowledge, and to investigate the consequences of personal, social, and political civic ignorance. CCL takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the causes and effects of deficits in civic literacy, while also examining best practices that  combat civic deficits across sectors of society, including public affairs, science, education, business, and healthcare.

To further understand the nature of civic deficits, CCL must first define ‘civic literacy’ across these varied disciplinary contexts. This process requires thorough review and assessment of existing research that addresses various aspects of civic knowledge. CCL’s poster will showcase the purpose, challenges, and lessons learned from engaging in an iterative process of a multi-disciplinary literature review.  An additional goal of presenting CCL’s literature review approach is to encourage attendees to consider how researchers frame, refine, and rework their understanding of a particular topic to strengthen their research objectives.

Poster Image