Skip to main content

OLD: PRO AND CON: Russell Conwell Educational Services Center Guide Series: Public Speaking and PRO and CON Debate: How to Write a Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography

Temple University Libraries Tips and Links

Temple University Tips and Links

How to Write a Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography


How to Produce and Write a Literature Review


Will G Hopkins PhD
Department of Physiology and
School of Physical Education,

University of Otago, Dunedin 9001, New Zealand.
Sportscience 3(1),
wghreview.html, 1999

(2618 words)


"This article is written in the form of a literature review
for the journal Sportscience. A few of the requirements
for form and content are unique to Sportscience,
but most are common to all good scientific journals.
You can therefore use this article to help you write a
review for any journal. You can also use this article to
structure a literature review for a thesis, but check with
your supervisor for any special requirements."


Write a Literature Review
University of California Santa Cruz
University Library

Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review
scholarly articles, books and other sources
(e.g. dissertations,
conference proceedings) relevant to
a particular issue, area of research,
or theory, providing
a description, summary, and critical evaluation of

each work. The purpose is to offer an overview of
significant literature
published on a topic.

2. Components

Similar to primary research, development of
the literature review requires
four stages:



Source: Language Center,
Asian Institute of Technology

"The literature review is a critical look at the
existing research that is
significant to the work
that you are carrying out. Some people think
it is a summary: This is not true. Although
you need to summarize relevant
research, it is
also vital that you evaluate this work, show the

relationships between different work, and show
how it relates to your
work. In other words, you
cannot simply give a concise description of, for

example, an article: you need to select what
parts of the research to
(e.g. the methodology), show how it relates to
the other work
(e.g. What other methodologies
have been used? How are they similar?
are they different?) and show how it relates
to your work (what is its
relationship to your


Writing Literature Reviews
compiled by Writing Center Staff
Claremont Graduate University

"Surveying the literature is necessary because
scholarship is cumulative
-- no matter what you
write, you are standing on someone else's
Scholars must say something new
while connecting what they say to what has

already been said.

Read on for more hints on how to approach
a literature review, or follow
the link to read
a sample literature review written for
Professor Jean
Schroedel's Politics and Policy
300 course.

Review Articles

A review article or review of the literature
article considers the state
and progress of
current literature on a given topic or problem
organizing, integrating, and evaluating
previously published books and
In short, a review article is a critical
evaluation of material
that has already been
published. "


How To Write A Literature Review

"A literature review is written in essay format
and groups related works
together and discusses
trends and developments rather than focusing on
item at a time. It is not a summary; rather,
it evaluates previous and
current research in
regard to how relevant and/or useful it is and how
relates to your own research. The format of a
review of literature may
vary from discipline to
discipline and from assignment to assignment.
review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in
itself -- or a preface to
and rationale for engaging
in primary research."


How to Write a Literature Review

A shorter URL for the above link:


Review of Literature
University of Wisconsin. Madison. Writing Center


How to... write a literature review

Article Sections

What is a literature review?
Stages of a literature review
Organizing a literature review
Further information and examples

"A literature review should never be just a list"


The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It
Written by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre
University of Toronto

A shorter URL for the above link:

"A literature review is an account of what has
been published on a topic
by accredited scholars
and researchers. Occasionally you will be asked to

write one as a separate assignment (sometimes
in the form of an annotated
bibliography-see the
bottom of the next page), but more often it is part

of the introduction to an essay, research report,
or thesis. In writing
the literature review, your
purpose is to convey to your reader what

knowledge and ideas have been established on
a topic, and what their
strengths and weaknesses
are. As a piece of writing, the literature review

must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your
research objective, the
problem or issue you are
discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is

not just a descriptive list of the material available,
or a set of


Guidelines for writing a literature review
by Helen Mongan-Rallis. Last updated:
November 17, 2006

[Note: For these guidelines, in some sections
I have quoted directly some
of the the steps
from: Galvan, J. (2006). Writing literature
reviews: a
guide for students of the behavioral
sciences (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA:

University of Minnesota. Duluth
Department of Education

Content Sample:

Step 7: Writing the review
(Galvan, 2006: 81-90)

Identify the broad problem area, but avoid
global statements

Early in the review, indicate why the topic
being reviewed is important

Distinguish between research finding
and other sources of information

Indicate why certain studies are important

If you are commenting on the timeliness of a topic,
be specific in
describing the time frame

If citing a classic or landmark study,
identify it as such

If a landmark study was replicated,
mention that and indicate the results

of the replication

Discuss other literature reviews on your topic

Refer the reader to other reviews
on issues that you will not be
in details

Justify comments such as,
"no studies were found."

Avoid long lists of nonspecific references

If the results of previous studies
are inconsistent or widely varying,

cite them separately

Cite all relevant references
in the review section of thesis,

dissertation, or journal article


How to write a literature review
Concordia University Libraries

Content Sample:

In assessing each piece,
consideration should be given to:

Provenance: What are the author's credentials?
Are the author's arguments
supported by evidence
(e.g. primary historical material, case studies,

narratives, statistics, recent scientific findings)?

Objectivity: Is the author's perspective even-handed
or prejudicial? Is
contrary data considered or is certain
pertinent information ignored to
prove the author's point?

Persuasiveness: Which of the author's theses
are most/least convincing?

Value: Are the author's arguments and conclusions
convincing? Does the
work ultimately contribute in any
significant way to an understanding of
the subject?


Writing literature reviews
Monash University

A shorter URL for the above link:


"A review of the literature has the following functions:

to justify your choice of research question,
theoretical or conceptual
framework, and method;

to establish the importance of the topic;
to provide background information needed to
understand the study;

to show readers you are familiar with significant and/or
research relevant to the topic;

to establish your study as one link in a chain of research
that is
developing knowledge in your field."


How to Write a Literature Review
By an eHow Contributor


Researching and Writing Literature Reviews
The University of Arizona
University Libraries

What is a literature review?
Why do a literature review?
What does a literature review do?
Components of the literature review
Things you should do before
beginning your literature review
Beginning the literature review
Critical analysis of materials
Additional assistance & further information

Content Sample:

Critical analysis of materials
Preliminary analysis:

Who is/are the author/s? What are their qualifications
(degrees awarded, positions at universities, previous
research and publications) to write on the topic at hand?

What is the date of publication of the research?
How up-to-date is the study?
Has it been superseded?

Who is the publisher? Is the publisher a respected entity?
Is it a university press or a private company? If a university
press, what is the reputation of the institution? If private,
what is the reputation of the company? (Your librarian can
help you make this determination.) If the resource in
question is a journal article, is the publishing journal a
respected journal in the field?

Topics Covered in This Section





How To Write A Literature Review
A Wiki
Saul Greenberg

A shorter URL for the above link:

"Organizing a literature review by ideas
A very good way to do a
literature review
is by reviewing ideas, and then bringing in

projects and citations relevant to
that idea. Ideas are typically
that you may have made after reading many
papers / project
descriptions, and so on.
That is, they are the essence / core of what

makes something work. Ideas may be
presented either as a set of
subsections of
related ideas (where one will flow from the
next), or even
better as a framework that
shows the inter-relations between ideas as
as their structure."


Jeromy Anglim's Blog: Psychology and Statistics
How to Write a Literature Review in Psychology

A shorter URL for the above link:

"Illustrate a methodology: Studies that illustrate
a methodology are particularly important.
The limitations of a methodology can affect all
studies that use the methodology. Understanding
and critiquing the methodology allows the author to
assess whether the theoretical claims argued by
researchers using this methodology are justified and
allows the reader to understand this also. Common
methodological limitations in I/O psychology include:
(a) use of self-report measures (limits objectivity of
conclusions); use of a observational designs
(limits causal inference);
(b) use of university samples (limits generalisability);
(c) use of a common statistical analysis technique
(e.g., most people researchers using mediation or SEM
do not adequately consider alternative causal
interpretations); and (d) use of experiments
(may lack ecological validity)."


Writing literature reviews :
a guide for students of the social and

behavioural sciences (3rd ed)
Auteur(s) : GALVAN Jose L
Date de parution: 01-2005
Langue : ANGLAIS
162p. Paperback
Etat : Disponible chez l'iteur
(dai de livraison : 20 jours)


Northwest Medical Education? 2006-04
Literature Review Writing by Senior Medical Students
and Analysis of the Existing ProblemsHUANG Yin-jiu,
WU Shou-wei,GONG Jin-yan,BAO Ming-sheng
(Genetics Teaching and Research Division,
Department of Biology of Bengbu
Medical College,Bengbu 233000,China)


Write an Annotated Bibliography
University of California
Santa Cruz University Library
1. Definition 
2. Composition 
Sources for Further Information 


Write an Annotated Bibliography
University of California. Santa Cruz.
University Library


Guides and Handbooks for Producing and Formating
an Annotated Bibliography




A Selected Resource List for Producing and
Formatting an Annotated Bibliography






How to Write a Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography

How to Write a Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography BOX 2

How to Write a Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography BOX 3




Books About Writing a Literature Review


Jose L. Galvan
Writing Literature Reviews:
A Guide for Students of the Social and
Behavioral Sciences
Pyrczak Publishing, Glendale, CA (2006)
ISBN 1-884585-66-3 162pp. $39.95.
Krug, S
Journal: Library & information science research
ISSN: 0740-8188 Date: 2008
Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Page: 161

Title Writing literature reviews:
a guide for students of the social and
behavioral sciences
Author Jose L. Galvan
Edition 3
Publisher Pyrczak, 2006
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Dec 30, 2006
ISBN 1884585663, 9781884585661
Length 162 pages
Subjects Academic writing
Book reviewing
Language Arts & Disciplines /
Composition & Creative Writing
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Psychology / Developmental / General
Psychology / Social Psychology
Report writing
Scholarly periodicals
Social Science / Research
Social sciences
Social sciences/ Authorship
Social sciences/ Research
Social sciences/ Research/ Evaluation

Title Essential Research Methods for Social Work
Authors Allen Rubin, Earl R. Babbie
Edition 2, illustrated
Publisher Cengage Learning, 2009
ISBN 0495604372, 9780495604372
Length 362 pages
Subjects Education / Counseling / General
Education / General
Political Science / Public Policy /
Social Services & Welfare
Psychology / Psychotherapy / Counseling
Social Science / Social Work
Social service

Title Proposals that work:
a guide for planning dissertations and grant
Proposals That Work: A Guide for Planning Series
Authors Lawrence F. Locke, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso,
Stephen J. Silverman
Editors Lawrence F. Locke, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso,
Stephen J. Silverman
Edition 5, illustrated
Publisher SAGE, 2007
ISBN 1412924235, 9781412924238
Length 354 pages
Subjects Business & Economics /
Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
Dissertations, Academic
Dissertations, Academic/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Education / Higher
Education / Study Skills
Fund raising
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
Language Arts & Disciplines / Grammar & Punctuation
Medical / General
Proposal writing in research
Proposal writing in research/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Reference / General
Reference / Handbooks & Manuals
Reference / Research
Reference / Writing Skills
Research grants
Research grants/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Social Science / Research

Title Research design:
qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods
Author John W. Creswell
Editor John W. Creswell
Edition 3, illustrated
Publisher SAGE, 2009
ISBN 141296556X, 9781412965569
Length 260 pages
Subjects Social Science / General
Social Science / Methodology
Social Science / Research
Social Science / Statistics
Social sciences
Social sciences - Research - Methodology
Social sciences - Statistical methods
Social sciences/ Research/ Methodology
Social sciences/ Statistical methods
Social service

Title The psychology research handbook:
a guide for graduate students and
research assistants
Authors Frederick T. L. Leong, James T. Austin
Editors Frederick T. L. Leong, James T. Austin
Edition 2, illustrated
Publisher SAGE, 2006
ISBN 0761930221, 9780761930228
Length 516 pages
Subjects Psychology
Psychology - Research - Methodology
Psychology / General
Psychology / Reference
Psychology / Research & Methodology
Psychology/ Research/ Methodology

Title Scientific papers and presentations
Effective communication skills in science
Author Martha Davis
Edition 2, revised
Publisher Academic Press, 2005
ISBN 0120884240, 9780120884247
Length 356 pages
Subjects Communication in science
Communication of technical information
Medical / General
Reference / General
Science / Chemistry / General
Science / Life Sciences / Biology / General
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Technical writing
Technology & Engineering / Technical Writing

Title The literature review: six steps to success
Authors Lawrence A. Machi, Brenda T. McEvoy
Edition illustrated
Publisher Corwin Press, 2008
ISBN 1412961351, 9781412961356
Length 164 pages
Subjects Education / General
Education / Higher
Education / Research
Reference / Research
Research - Methodology
Research - Methodology -
Study and teaching (Higher)
Research - Methodology -
Study and teaching (Secondary)
Research/ Methodology/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Research/ Methodology/
Study and teaching (Higher)/ Handbooks, manuals,
Research/ Methodology/ Study and teaching
(Secondary)/ Handbooks, manuals, etc

Title Nursing research: a qualitative perspective
Academic Textbooks Series
Issue 14, Part 1357 of Pub. (National League for Nursing)
Authors Patricia L. Munhall, National League for Nursing
Editor Patricia L. Munhall
Edition 3, illustrated
Publisher Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2001
ISBN 0763711357, 9780763711351
Length 672 pages
Subjects Medical / Nursing / General
Medical / Nursing / Research & Theory
Nursing/ Research

Title Investigating the social world: the process
and practice of research
The Pine Forge Press series in research methods
and statistics
Author Russell K. Schutt
Edition 5, illustrated
Publisher Pine Forge Press, 2006
ISBN 1412927374, 9781412927376
Length 680 pages
Subjects Computers /
Mathematical & Statistical Software
Reference / Research
Social Science / General
Social Science / Research
Social problems
Social sciences
Social sciences/ Research

Title Writing papers in psychology
Authors Ralph L. Rosnow, Mimi Rosnow
Edition 8, illustrated
Publisher Cengage Learning, 2008
ISBN 0495509566, 9780495509561
Length 182 pages
Subjects Language Arts & Disciplines /
Composition & Creative Writing
Psychology - Authorship
Psychology / General
Psychology / Psychotherapy / Counseling
Psychology/ Authorship
Reference / Writing Skills
Report writing

Title The Psychologist's Companion:
A Guide to Writing Scientific Papers
for Students and Researchers
Authors Robert J. Sternberg, Karin Sternberg
Edition 5, illustrated, revised
Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2010
ISBN 0521144825, 9780521144827
Length 376 pages
Subjects Psychological literature
Psychology / General
Reference / Writing Skills
Report writing

Title Designing and Managing a Research Project:
A Business Student's Guide
Authors Michael Jay Polonsky, David S. Waller
Edition 2
Publisher SAGE, 2010
ISBN 1412977754, 9781412977753
Length 296 pages
Subjects Business
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Management
Business & Economics /
Production & Operations Management
Business & Economics / Project Management
Business/ Research/ Methodology

Title Completing your qualitative dissertation:
a roadmap from beginning
to end
Authors Linda Dale Bloomberg, Marie Volpe
Editors Linda Dale Bloomberg, Marie Volpe
Edition illustrated, annotated
Publisher SAGE, 2008
ISBN 141295651X, 9781412956512
Length 232 pages
Subjects Dissertations, Academic
Education / Higher
Language Arts & Disciplines / Authorship
Qualitative research
Social Science / General
Social Science / Research

Title Communication Research: Strategies and Sources
Authors Rebecca B. Rubin, Alan M. Rubin, Paul M.
Haridakis, Linda J. Piele
Edition 7
Publisher Cengage Learning, 2009
ISBN 0495095885, 9780495095880
Length 315 pages
Subjects Communication
Communication - Research - Methodology
Communication/ Research/ Methodology
Drama / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Communication
Language Arts & Disciplines / Communication Studies
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Library & Information Science
Language Arts & Disciplines / Speech
Performing Arts / Theater / General

Title Research Methods for Managers
Authors John Gill, Phil Johnson
Edition 4, illustrated
Publisher SAGE Publications, 2009
ISBN 1847870945, 9781847870940
Length 288 pages
Subjects Business & Economics / Development /
Business Development
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Education
Business & Economics / Industrial Management
Business & Economics / Management
Industrial management/ Research
Reference / Research

Title Research genres: explorations and applications
The Cambridge applied linguistics series
Author John Swales
Edition illustrated
Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2004
ISBN 0521533341, 9780521533348
Length 314 pages
Subjects Academic writing
Dissertations, Academic
Dissertations, Academic - Authorship
Education / General
English language
English language - Rhetoric - Study and teaching
English language - Study and teaching (Higher) -
Foreign speakers
English language/ Rhetoric/ Study and teaching
English language/ Study and teaching (Higher)/
Foreign speakers
Fiction / General
Foreign Language Study / English as a Second Language
Interdisciplinary approach in education
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
Research - Methodology

Title The Dissertation Journey:
A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to
Planning, Writing, and Defending Your Dissertation
Author Carol M. Roberts
Editor Carol M. Roberts
Edition 2
Publisher Corwin Press, 2010
ISBN 1412977983, 9781412977982
Length 248 pages
Subjects Dissertations, Academic/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Doctor of education degree/ Handbooks, manuals, etc
Education / General
Education / Higher
Education / Research
Language Arts & Disciplines /
Composition & Creative Writing
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
Reference / Writing Skills
Report writing/ Handbooks, manuals, etc

Title Writing Guidelines for Education Students
Author Lisa Emerson
Editor Lisa Emerson
Contributor Lisa Emerson
Edition 2, illustrated
Publisher Cengage Learning Australia, 2007
ISBN 0170130045, 9780170130042
Length 137 pages
Subjects Education / Research
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
Reference / Writing Skills
Report writing
Study skills
Teachers - Training of

Title Action Research for Improving Educational Practice:
A Step-by-Step Guide
Author Valsa Koshy
Edition 2, illustrated
Publisher SAGE Publications, 2009
ISBN 1848601603, 9781848601604
Length 176 pages
Subjects Action research
Action research in education
Education / Research
Reference / Research
Science / Research & Methodology

Title Writing the winning thesis or dissertation:
a step-by-step guide
Authors Allan A. Glatthorn, Randy L. Joyner
Editors Allan A. Glatthorn, Randy L. Joyner
Contributors Allan A. Glatthorn, Randy L. Joyner
Edition 2, illustrated
Publisher Corwin Press, 2005
ISBN 076193961X, 9780761939610
Length 268 pages
Subjects Dissertations, Academic
Education / General
Education / Higher
Education / Research
Language Arts & Disciplines / Authorship
Language Arts & Disciplines /
Composition & Creative Writing
Reference / Writing Skills
Report writing


Elements of Bibliography:
A Guide to Information Sources and Practical Applications
G - Reference,
Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series
Library Science Bibliography
Author    Robert Bartlett Harmon
Edition    3, illustrated
Publisher    Scarecrow Press, 1998
ISBN    0810835401, 9780810835405
Length    295 pages 
Subjects    Language Arts & Disciplines ›
Library & Information Science › General
Bibliographical literature
Bibliographical literature - Bibliography
Bibliographical literature/ Bibliography
Bibliography - Methodology
Bibliography/ Methodology
Language Arts & Disciplines /
Library & Information Science / General

Reference / Almanacs
Reference / Bibliographies & Indexes 
The Dimensions of Bibliography   
Historical Survey  
The Objects and Artifacts of Bibliography    
Enumerative or Systematic Bibliography    
Analytical or Critical Bibliography    
Fundamentals of Practical Bibliography Making    
Bibliographical Citation Basics    
Evaluating Bibliographical Sources    
Reference Sources    
Bibliography in the Information Age   
Abbreviations Used in Bibliography  
Glossary of Bibliographical Terms   
Major Bibliographical Organizations    
Name and Subject Index  
Title Index    
Electronic Information Sources and Bibliographical Searching 
Careers Related to the Field of Bibliography


The Literature Review:
A Step-by-Step Guide for Students
SAGE Study Skills Series
Author    Diana Ridley
Publisher    SAGE, 2012
ISBN    1446268047, 9781446268049
Length    232 pages




The Literature Review Topic in Net-Gold


A shorter URL for the above link:

The Image of the Literature Review






A shorter URL for the above link:

The Literature Review: The Video





A shorter URL for the above link:




How to Write or Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

Subject Specialist / Reference Librarian

David Dillard's picture
David Dillard
David Dillard
Temple University
Paley Library, room 320