CORE 112: Annotated Bibliography/Literature Review

Assignment: Analyze a Literature Review

Many CORE112 instructors analyze literature reviews as part of class discussions or for homework. Below is an exemplary literature review and some suggested questions, either for in-class or online discussion, or as a homework assignment.

Literature Review: Park, Sowon S. “Suffrage and Virginia Woolf: ‘The Mass Behind the Single Voice.’” The Review of English Studies 56.223 (2005): 119–134. [can be found at]

Suggested discussion questions:

  1. How is this literature review organized?
  2. What does the author assume that the reader already knows?
  3. How does the author place Virginia Woolf's work in a historical context of feminism?
  4. Is the author writing from a literary, historical, or gender studies point of view, or some combination? What in the text tells you this?
  5. How would you characterize how the author uses the concept of suffrage? What does it have to do with Virginia Woolf as a writer and as a person?
  6. What are the rhetorical goals or purposes of this literature review?

Library instruction activity: Choosing Sources

This activity can be used in class or as homework - make a copy of the Choosing Sources Google Doc linked below.

  1. Choose a text from the syllabus and an idea, like "gender identity" or "isolation" - or use the example below.
  2. Use the Google Doc below and edit it based on the text you're using, as well as four different sources that address different aspects of the text and idea - or use the examples below.
  3. Have students break into groups and complete the questions on the Google doc below.
  4. Use their answers to discuss the difference in rhetorically employing each of these types of sources. Talk about the difference between writing something like "scholars say" and "literature scholar X in 1995 wrote..." - especially historical context and theoretical point of view.
  5. Discuss the challenges students may have if they are writing about a recently-published text or a text on which huge quantities of sources exist, and strategies they might employ to find sources that are not too far afield from their topic, as well as how to change topics based on what you're finding.
  6. Talk about search strategies to aid in finding things that are closer to your topic - e.g., thinking of other terms for "fairy tales" like folklore or specific fairy tales.

Example Topic: Lolita and fairy tales

Example sources:

  1. Cooksey, Thomas L. "Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich" in Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature.
  2. Roth, Phyllis A. "In Search of Aesthetic Bliss: A Rereading of 'Lolita'" in College Literature, 2(1), 1975.
  3. Evans, Laura. "Little Red Riding Hood Bites Back: A Feminist Reinterpretation" in Visual Arts Research, 37(2), 2011.
  4. Savage, Shari L. "Lolita: Genealogy of a Cover Girl" in Studies in Art Education, 56 (2), 2015.


Activity/Assignment: Using "Study of Studies" from The Atlantic

This article reviews and summarizes the literature on a topic for a popular audience. It's a good example of how to discuss the research on a topic and how it intersects, rather than listing studies without contextualizing them. Can be used as a discussion prompt - how does the author accomplish this task?

Activity/Assignment: Abstract Analysis

This activity prompts students to identify and rewrite the main ideas of an academic article's abstract, in order to understand it better and determine how it could contribute to an argument.

Information Literacy Outomes

  • Evaluate information from a variety of perspectives in order to shape their own knowledge base
  • Organize information systematically in order to reflect on inquiry