Answered By: Judith Jablonski
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017     Views: 22662

The Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science has these definitions:

"A literature review is a text written by someone to consider the critical points of current knowledge. A comprehensive survey of the works published in a particular field of study or line of research, usually over a specific period of time, in the form of an in-depth, critical bibliographic essay or annotated list in which attention is drawn to the most significant works."

An annotated bibliography is "a brief explanatory or evaluative note is added to each reference or citation. An annotation can be helpful to the researcher in evaluating whether the source is relevant to a given topic or line of inquiry."

While a literature review and annotated bibliography share some similarities, they serve different purposes. A literature review answers a particular question about a particular subject (primarily:  what does the existing scholarly research have to say about my topic?). An annotated bibliography, by contrast, is more focused on the content and contribution of each individual source (and showcases your understanding of each).
 

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