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Resources for a Literature Review or an Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies and literature reviews are very common forms of writing. The intent of each is to assist you, as the researcher, in gathering resources, identifying trends and problems in the research field, and analyzing those resources to assist your own research. This type of writing is also very helpful to the reader as it identifies key research articles and synthesizes the information to create a coherent picture in which the reader can place your research. Remember that you only want to include pivotal and influential research in this type of writing – this means you will want to focus on scholarly articles that contain primary research.

Though literature reviews and annotated bibliographies accomplish a very similar purpose, they are not written in an identical manner. An annotated bibliography is compiled of references and summaries in alphabetical order; a literature review generally organizes references by subject matter, theory type, methodology design, etc. A literature review is generally much more exploratory than an annotated bibliography, and must pull together the information that is presented in many disparate sources to form one, cohesive picture of the research field. 

See the Library FAQ: Annotated Bibliographies to learn how to find examples in the NCU Dissertation Center.

For more information about the differences between these two forms of writing, continue reading the Definitions section.

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