CIS8500 - Assignment 1 - Critical Literature Review Report

Assignment 1 Specification  
Assignment 1 requires you to read and critically analyse a research article sourced from the  Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) held in Tasmania in 2017: Your research article will be allocated to you during the second week.   

As part of the critical review and analysis of your allocated research article, you are required to investigate at least three (3) relevant research articles referenced from the allocated article, and to find out more about the associated research topic.  
For those who are doing a PhD or research degree, you may choose to write the critical review on a specific paper related to your research topic. Please first seek approval from your academic supervisor, then email the details of the article to directly for approval.  

Your critical review work must be related to the research article with prior approval or assigned to you. Failure to do so will result in your assignments being rejected and no marks will be allocated.

Critical Literature Review Report  (80 marks) 

Report Structure and Presentation   (5) 

Your report should include a title page and Table of Contents. 

Note: Make sure to state your name and student number in the report on the title page. State the word count of the report (from Introduction to Conclusion) 

Report: Introduction (approx. 250 words)   (5) 
Your report should include an introduction to the report.   

  • Give some background information to provide a context for the report 
  • State the purpose of the report 
  • Clarify key terms and indicate the scope of the report (i.e. what the report will cover)

Report Section 1 – Critical Review (approx. 750 words)  (25) 

After several rounds of thorough reading of your allocated research article, write a critical review of the article. This is similar to the writing of Uncles (1998) who presented a commentary of Perry (1998) paper – see Week 1 Readings.    

Your critical review can follow the guidance provided by Professor Allen Lee in his article, which you should have already obtained during Week 3 or can obtain now:   

Lee, AS 1995, ‘Reviewing a manuscript for publication’, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 87-92.    

Professor Lee’s article includes fifteen (15) actionable activities that you may address in your review. This article provides guidance about addressing the actions and illustrates the actions with sample comments.

Some of the questions that may help you synthesize information for critical literature review are listed below (adapted from Warner & Edwards n.d. 

These questions are only a guide. You will NOT need to address ALL of these questions in your critical literature review. 

1. What is the research area/ focus/ scope of the article? 

2. What is the dependent variable or topic of interest? How has it been conceptualized and studied (hypothesis or research question)? 

3. What are the theories (dominant paradigms) used to explain the research topic? 

4. What populations/ case studies/ artefacts/ environments have been studied?  
CIS8500 Assignment 1   
5. What are the results and how are they measured? 

6. What is novel or interesting in this research?

Report Section 2–  Additional References (approx. 750 words)   (15) 

After your critical review, investigate three (3) relevant research articles that are referenced by the article allocated to you. Since you are scanning associated literature from your allocated article, the best place to get additional references is the “Literature Review” section of your allocated article.   

In a table, determine the three research articles and provide the following details: • Full Article Reference 

  • A short summary of the article 
  • Short account of how this article is relevant to your allocated paper     

Report Section 3 – Literature Gap (approx. 500 words)  (15)   

Identifying gaps in the literature is an important part of a critical literature review.  In this section, you are required to identify the gap from your literature review exercise and formulate a research question that you think needs further research in the relevant area of the allocated research article.   

An ability to find literature gaps demonstrates that you have a critical understanding of the research topic. You need to identify gaps in the research where you can suggest ways forward or possible theories of your own. You can also highlight areas where the research appears to be incomplete. You should write this section with some compelling arguments to identify literature gaps backed up by your critical literature review.   

Once you have pointed the gaps in the literature, you may identify some significant issues for future study. The identified literature gap from your study should clearly highlight a research problem that then leads to a research question for further investigation. Finding the research question based on your literature review is a rigorous process of identifying a valid research problem that has not been addressed from past research. You may also suggest how to progress the research forward demonstrating you have the potential for further study and independent research.  

Report: Conclusions (approx. 250 words)  (5) 

Your report should include a separate conclusions section.  

• Sum up the main points and key findings from the body of the report 

• Should clearly relate to the objectives of your report    You should not include new information in your conclusion section.  
CIS8500 Assignment 1 
Report: Referencing and Appropriateness of Sources   (10) 

References are required and the Harvard AGPS standard of referencing must be used. This standard is detailed on USQ Library Site <>.    

Ensure that your reports are fully referenced, including any reference to the research article. Your report should include in-text references and a List of References.  

Do not repeat verbatim large slabs of information from other sources such as the text – you must put the ideas/information in your own words.  

You must use at least three (3) academically sound sources other than the research article in completing your assignment.  You are required to use EndNote (reference management software tool) that can be used with Microsoft Word to write and present your research writing with references.  
Note: the word count does not include references or appendices.  

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