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Comparing Annotated Bibliographies, Literature Reviews, and Research Papers

Annotated bibliographies and research papers are sometimes confused with literature reviews. Click the boxes below to review their key differences.

Annotated bibliographies provide summaries of individual sources under a full reference. At the end of the summary, writers also often comment on the source's potential value for their own future research paper. No thesis is required for this assignment.

Narrative Literature Reviews offer an argument about the state and quality of existing research on a topic. By analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information, the writer will identify similarities, differences, trends, and gaps in the research. This type of paper is often used as background or context for a primary research paper.

Thesis Example:
While the quality of current scholarship is high, it does not adequately address the economic and historical contexts that inform disability stigma in Ghana.

Argumentative research papers present an original argument about a topic. The writer defends this argument with evidence from existing research and their own critical analysis.

Thesis Example:
To reduce disability stigma in Ghana, the government needs to fund inclusive education, revise workplace policies, and develop media campaigns.