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CEP 554: Research Methods in Applied Settings

Annotated Bibliography Example

What is a Literature Review?

lighthouse image


A literature review is like a lighthouse.  It shines light your topic and shows your reader what has already been written about it and where the missing gaps are. 

It lights your way to show you where your own study will fit into the existing body of knowledge.


You are not conducting research in a vacuum — you want to find out how others have theorized your topic. 
  • What is the conversation other researchers are having on your topic?
  • What have others found that will help inform your study?
  • How does your voice fit into the conversation?  How will you fill gaps in the literature?
  • Reflective practitioners critically analyze the research literature, reflect on the implications of research findings for their own work, and modify their practices accordingly.