Skip to Main Content

ENG 201: Research Introduction, Annotated Bibliography & Literature Review (PLV)

Annotated Bibliographies & Literature Reviews

Puzzle pieces coming together and being held by two hands

How are annotated bibliographies and literature reviews related? 

Annotated bibliographies collect sources and present citations along with a summary and analysis that connects the information to your research question. In a literature review, the author synthesizes multiple sources together to present the major themes, arguments and theories around a topic. 

Therefore, an annotated bibliography can provide an opportunity to review and analyze individual sources before organizing them around common denominators found across sources. 

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

The first step in your literature review is to collect a few sources you might use in order to summarize them and analyze their potential for your paper. 

Creating an annotated bibliography: 

  1. Review your assignment to determine how your professor would like your annotated bibliography to look.
  2. Search! The "Strategic Searching" and "Locating Sources Online & At Pace" pages on this guide for assistance in locating potential sources. 
  3. Create the citations for your sources. 
  4. Write a paragraph for each citation summarizing, analyzing and determining the relevance of that source to your paper.                                                                     Icon by freepik


Why do we write literature reviews?

Two questions at the top: How does gender bias in the US healthcare system affect women as patients and their health outcomes? and How do social media algorithms impact the increase in extremest rhetoric in America? Ask a question that has a complex answer not answerable with a Googles searchYou as the researcher & writer are trying to select the articles that will show what important ideas and trends researchers are studying in your field.

Literature reviews serve a purpose in research by: 

  • Showing the writer's understanding of their topic area including key concepts, terminology, theories and definitions
  • Identifying what research has been done in that area
  • Finding gaps in the research or current areas of interest to help the writer tweak their own research question, if needed
  • Identifying main areas of agreement, disagreement or controversy within the topic area
  • Convincing the reader that your research question is significant, important and interesting

You are writing a MAP to the scholarly conversation on your topic.

What are Scholarly Journals & Peer Review?

For your Literature Review you will summarize, evaluate, and synthesize, existing scholarship related to your research question. This "scholarship" is found in academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. These differ from magazines and articles written for the general public because scholarly journals are written for researchers and experts in the discipline area. 

Image of a scholarly article with individual parts labeled


Click the link below titled, "Anatomy of a Scholarly Journal Article" to view an interactive journal article and review what each section means.


You may need a few peer reviewed sources for your literature review. But what does that mean?

Peer-reviewed and refereed publications include articles that are read and approved by an editor and one or more experts in that field to confirm accuracy of information and the contribution of that information to the scholarly conversation.