A literature review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research. Works which are irrelevant should be discarded and those which are peripheral should be looked at critically.
A literature review is more than the search for information, and goes beyond being a descriptive annotated bibliography. All works included in the review must be read, evaluated and analysed (which you would do for an annotated bibliography), but relationships between the literature must also be identified and articulated, in relation to your field of research.
"In writing the literature review, the purpose is to convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (eg. your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries."(http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/litrev.html)
Content credits below.
In general, the literature review should:
Article: A written piece on a specific topic found in a journal, periodical, magazine, or newspaper
Peer Reviewed Process: When an article is submitted to a scholarly journal, it is evaluated by experts in the field who examine the article's originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. and determine if the article falls within the scope of the publication. Also known as refereed, scholarly or academic.