The exact process and structure will vary depending on the type of literature review you're doing, but in short:
"A literature review develops a case for a thesis based on a comprehensive understanding of the current knowledge of the topic. A literature review synthesizes current knowledge pertaining to the research question. This synthesis is the foundation that allows the researcher to build a convincing case."
A literature review is a way to identify:
- Based on the University of St. Thomas Writing a Literature Review Guide
An annotated bibliography is a list of sources, each of which is summarized and evaluated individually. An annotated bibliography is a great early step in an evidence-gathering process; your annotations can be great notes to come back to later on.
Through a literature review you identify important themes within your topic/question, cite the sources that support each theme, and then write syntheses of what the literature says about each theme. A literature review requires a higher level of critical thinking and writing skills than an annotated bibliography.