Now that you’ve read up on what people are saying about your topic, it’s time to really make sense of those different view points and information. In this paper, you will develop a “review of the literature” (or “literature review”) written on the same issue in your discipline that you researched for your annotated bibliography. Literature reviews are a very common genre used across disciplines as a means to make sense of the current conversations, themes, and arguments currently available upon a topic. Similar to your rhetorical analysis, you are not taking a stance upon what you’ve read (though you will in Essay 3!). Instead, this literature review should move you beyond seeing texts simply as support for an already determined thesis and show you, instead, that exploring sources can complicate your thinking and even lead you to change your mind. You will gain experience in making knowledge from others’ texts as you identify, read, and synthesize multiple sources that take varying points of view on an issue.
After you have completed your annotated bibliography, write a paper in which you explain the issue to your readers based on the sources you have read (or new sources if you feel some are needed). The goal of a literature review is NOT to merely summarize each article or book one at a time.