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Library Research Skills for College Students: Step-by-Step

A step-by-step in-depth start to finish guide through the research process.

Writing an Annotated Bilbiography

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What is An Annotated Bibliography?

bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) used for researching a topic

  • called References if you are using APA Citations Style
  • called Works Cited if you are using MLA Citation Style
  • includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.)

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation.

An annotated bibliographmeans and a short paragraph about the source is added to the citation. Examples of what the paragraph should include:

  • summary
    • purpose and main arguments of the source
    • topics covered
  • evaluation
    • author credentials and qualifications
    • reliability and accuracy, 
    • objectivity or bias
    • biased or objective
    • meets its stated goals
  • reflection
    • how the source fits into your research
    • how it helps you shape your argument
    • how it may have changed how you think about your topic

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Annotated bibliographies are important because they can help you learn about the various perspectives relevant to your topic. You'll start to discover what the difference issues are and help you develop your own perspective about the topic. They can also be used as a personal pre-writing exercise to help you put your research puzzle together.

Links to More Information and a Video About Writing an Annotated Bibliography

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