Skip to Main Content

Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide: Other Academic Writings

Annotated Bibliographies

Sometimes people confuse Literature Reviews with Annotated Bibliographies. While they are quite different in format, they are similar in purpose: to survey the literature.


So what is an annotated bibliography? "... is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.” Definition from Cornell University Library.

To write a good annotated bibliography you need to be:

  • Concise: Get to the point of what the book/article is about, in a few words, summarize.
  • Evaluative: Determine who is the author, what is his/her expertise in the topic, how reliable is the information
  • Critical: Reflect on what is the strength and weaknesses of the work, what is missing, etc.
  • Comparative: Describe how the book/article compares to other similar works

Useful site with tips on how to write an Annotated Bibliography:

Research Prospectus

The Research Prospectus is a planning document, usually use before writing your thesis or some seminar paper to complete a degree (e.g. Master's thesis or Plan B paper). It does include a working bibliography and small literature review. Below are some useful links on how to write a prospectus, best practices and examples.

Position Paper

Critical Essays

Reflection Essay

What is a reflection essay? Also known as reflection paper or reaction paper, is a type of essay where you are asked to reflect and share your thoughts and reactions about something you read, e.g. an article, a poem, a short story, a book chapter, etc. It is not a research paper but it requires that you as a writer be critical, thoughtful, and balance when writing this type of paper.

Below are some resources that will help you write a reflection essay and avoid typical mistakes when writing one.

Resources on How to Write for Different Disciplines

Login to LibApps