How to Create an Annotated bibliographyHow to Create an Annotated bibliography G. Lejeune & C. Carroll 2013
What is an annotated bibliography? • A bibliography is a list of citations for sources (books, articles, databases, etc.) used in a research paper or project. • An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation of a resource. • Put them together and you have an annotated bibliography, in which each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph.
Why should I do an annotated bibliography? To learn more about your topic! • Prepares you for a research project by examining each source carefully • Broadens the base of your research and gives you a good perspective on the issues that surround your topic • Helps you formulate a thesis because youlearn what is available on your topic
Four Steps in the Process • Locate a variety of sources, including books, databases, articles, interviews, etc., that may contain useful information on your topic. • Briefly examine these resources and choose those that are reliable, relevant, and contain a variety of perspectives on your topic. • Create a citation for each source you’ve chosen, using the correct style as assigned by your teacher (MLA, APA, etc.). • Write a concise annotation for each source that summarizes & evaluates its usefulness. Each annotation should be about 3+ sentences or 100–200 words.
yikes! an annotated bibliography looks really complicated! It’s not so hard once you know what you’re doing. Let’s look at the process one step at a time.
1. Locate a variety of sources • Find both print and online sources. Be sure to record bibliographic information as you go along. • Conduct interviews in person or by email of content experts, such as university professors or historians. • Find archival images and videosof your event. • Make sure your print sources are from a reliable publisher, use authoritative online databases, and carefully evaluate the source of free websites. • Be wary of websites with no author or credentials listed.
2. Examine the sources & choose the best ones • Select information from authoritative sources, such as universities or scholarly publications. • Make sure the source is really relevant to your topic as well as current and not out-of-date. • Select sources with a variety of • perspectives on your topic. • Verify that the information is valid, well-researched, and supported by evidence.
3. Create a citation for each source • You may use Noodle Tools to create your annotated bibliography online. • MLA Bibliography Guidelines are available on your web guide and as a handout in the library. • BUT--remember that YOU are ultimately responsible for the correct formatting of your citations.
Example MLA Works Cited List Castro, Fidel. Second Declaration of Havana, 1962. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. Horvitz, Leslie Alan and Christopher Catherwood. Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide. New York: Facts on File, 2006. Print. "Simón Bolívar." Historic World Leaders. Gale, 1994. World History in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. What do you notice about the format of these citations?
4. Write a concise annotation for each source Include as many of these as you & your teacher wish: • Describe the content & purpose of the source. • Discuss how the source is relevant to your topic and how it helped your research. • Identify whether it is a primary or secondary source. Tertiary sources should be kept to a minimum (Wikipedia is not acceptable on academic bibliographies). • Evaluate the background/authority of the author. • Comment on the source’s quality and how/ why it helped you.
How do I find the information for my annotation? • Read the Table of Contents and peruse the Index of a book or database. • Read the back cover or inside flap of a book, or the executive summary of an article. • Flip through or skim the source to see what kind of information it contains and how it is organized.
How do I find the information for my annotation? Cont’d • Read the Introduction, section headings, and one or two excerpts relevant to your topic. • Find a description of the author and evaluate his/her credentials. • For a website, go to the Home page and look for an Author or About Us link.
Example annotation Horvitz, Leslie Alan and Christopher Catherwood. Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide. New York: Facts on File, 2006. Print. This encyclopedia provides an alphabetic listing of articles that discuss the human rights violations in various countries of the world and the leaders who have been involved in human rights abuses. One of the authors teaches at the Univ. of Cambridge. This source includes both secondary (articles) and primary sources such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It gave me a good overview of the various human rights issues in Nicaragua and Noriega’s role in them.
Hang in there—you’re almost finished! Alphabetize your citations. Check for errors in MLA format. Proofread the whole thing.
If you have followed these steps, you’ve created an Annotated Bibliography Congratulations! You’ve just learned a very useful skill that will assist you in your future academic pursuits.