theory map paper


Theory Map Details
The goal of this paper is to “map” out an area of theoretical literature centered on a key concept
or idea. This paper should link together both primary and secondary literature, as well as any
key debates, blindspots, or case studies that may be useful in understanding and applying the
topic. You should also suggest ways that this literature might inform a particular area of research
or object of study.
Your paper should draw on at least 10-15 academic sources.
Your final paper should be about 15-20 double-spaced pages, using APA 6th formatting.
The structure of your paper should follow this very rough outline:
• Overview of Concept/Idea, & Purpose, Goal of Paper (1-2 pages)
• Describe clearly and concisely what your central concept/idea. Quickly summarize the main
components of your paper.
• Summary of Primary Literature and Thinkers (5-6 pages)
• Who are the essential thinkers you are relying on? What do they contribute to the
foundational aspects of the concept/idea/area you’re researching? Try to be as thorough as
possible. Do not simply rely on a singular text, but rather describe how a concept/idea is
developed over or across several texts and/or authors (if applicable).
• Summary of Secondary Literature (5-6 pages)
• This literature is typically associated with the application, critique, or development of primary
literature. This is part of the broader academic “conversation” related to your topic.
• Contemporary Application (3-4 pages)
• Provide an example of how this theoretical literature could be specifically used to understand
a contemporary topic.
• Summary/Conclusion/Areas of Future Research (1-2 pages)
• Summary your paper’s overall approach and suggest areas that you think you could do more
research, both in terms of possible literature, but also to specific

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