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Annotated Bibliographies and Literature Reviews


Here is a portion of a literature review as an example. Notice the citation is formatted in MLA:

Greitemeyer, Tobias, et al. “Are Everyday Sadists Specifically Attracted to Violent Video Games and Do They Emotionally Benefit from Playing Those Games?” Aggressive Behavior, vol. 45, no. 2, 2018, pp. 206–213., doi:10.1002/ab.21810.


Researchers have been interested in the relationship between the Big 5 personality dimensions and the preference for playing violent video games. For example, in one study (Anderson et al., 2004), amount of violent video game play was negatively associated with agreeableness and conscientiousness. In another study (Chory & Goodboy, 2011), participants lower in agreeableness and higher in openness were more likely to play violent video games. In the present research, we focus on the relationship between dark personality traits (in particular, everyday sadism) and (a) attraction to violent video games and (b) the emotional consequences of playing a violent video game.

Recent theorizing suggests that there are four dimensions that characterize the dark side of human personality (called the Dark Tetrad): narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and everyday sadism (Chabrol, Van Leeuwen, Rodgers, & Séjourné, 2009; Paulhus, 2014). In brief, narcissists have a grandiose sense of self-importance and superiority, Machiavellians manipulate and exploit others, psychopaths are characterized by callousness, thrill seeking, and unemotionality, and everyday sadists obtain pleasure from cruel acts of behavior. Of these dimensions, it appears that everyday sadism has the most robust association with the extent to which individuals play violent video games (Greitemeyer, 2015).”

This is not the entire section, but this portion was listed to illustrate what a literature review might look like. While this is not labeled as a literature review, it briefly summarizes and synthesizes the work of others to compare and contrast their own work which will follow later in the article.