Literature Reviews

Types of Literature Reviews

A literature review can be stand-alone (literature review, review of literature) as its own article or source or part of a research article, usually in introduction or directly after. Sometimes they are not labelled “literature review” within the article, but they include integrated citations or in-text citations. Here is an example of a scholarly article that has the literature review after the introduction. A literature review is not an annotated bibliography. To learn more about annotated bibliographies, check out the UNCG Libraries Module on Annotated Bibliography.

Image of an article, showing section with literature review within the article

Example of a literature review within an article. Article citation:

Spence, P. R., Westerman, D., Edwards, C., & Edwards, A. (2014). Welcoming our robot overlords: Initial expectations about interaction with a robot. Communication Research Reports, 31(3), 272–280. 

Annotated Bibliography:

  • Comments on the relevance and quality of the information
  • Sources are analyzed separately
  • The source is indicated at the beginning of each section
  • Sources are listed alphabetically in an annotated list

Literature Review:

  • Establishes a relationship between different sources and highlights gaps in knowledge
  • Information from different sources are analyzed together in a cohesive narrative
  • The sources are listed at the end of the document, as a bibliography through an in text citation
  • Sources are integrated together according to relevance

Difference between an Annotated Bibliography and and Literature Review

There are different types of literature reviews. A systematic review is a literature review that follows a rigorous process to find all of the research conducted on a topic and then critically appraises the research methods of the highest quality reports. These reviews track and report their search and appraisal methods in addition to providing a summary of the knowledge established by the appraised research. Other reviews that are similar to a systematic review are integrative reviews, meta-analysis, scoping reviews, mapping review, and a rapid review. For a full list of all the review types, plus detailed definitions and differences, go to the Temple University Libraries Reviews Research Guide

UNCG Libraries Systematic Review Guide

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