The next step in the research process is immersing oneself in the empirical literature on your research topic to determine the extent to which your research question (identified in Module 1) has been addressed. Remember, your goal is to discover the extent to which a knowledge gap exists with regard to your specific research question. Locate five peer-reviewed journal articles that present studies relevant to your topic, and synthesize these into a four-page paper that summarizes the “current state of knowledge” with regard to your research question. Note specifically,
1. Study findings relative your research question (positive, negative, and inconclusive)
2. Any additional questions left unanswered by these studies
3. How addressing your research question would help to fill a knowledge gap (should your research question fall short of this, you may need to propose an alternative one)
4. The specific population to which your study will apply (and ultimately, your study’s targeted sample)
You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.