Write a Literature Review

Take a step-by-step approach to attacking a lit review.

Tip

Not every source you found should be included in your annotated bibliography or lit review. Only include the most relevant and most important sources.

Get Organized

Summarize your Sources

Summarize each source: Determine the most important and relevant information from each source, such as the findings, methodology, theories, etc.  Consider using an article summary, or study summary to help you organize and summarize your sources.

Paraphrasing

Use your own words, do not copy and paste the abstract.  See Purdue Owl's advice on paraphrasing to ensure you don't plagiarize.

Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies can help you clearly see and understand the research before diving into organizing and writing your literature review.  Although typically part of the "summarize" step of the literature review, annotations should not merely be summaries of each article - they should be critical evaluations of the source, and help determine a source's usefulness for your lit review.

Definition:

A list of citations on a particular topic followed by an evaluation of the source’s argument and other relevant material including its intended audience, sources of evidence, and methodology

Purpose:

  • Explore your topic.
  • Appraise issues or factors associated with your professional practice and research topic.
  • Help you get started with the literature review.
  • Think critically about your topic, and the literature.

Steps to Creating an Annotated Bibliography:

  1. Find Your Sources
  2. Read Your Sources
  3. Identify the Most Relevant Sources
  4. Cite your Sources
  5. Write Annotations

Annotated Bibliography Resources