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ENGL 202A: Effective Writing in the Social Sciences (Hillen)

Pat Hillen

Multi-Disciplinary Databases

News Sources

Subject Specific Databases

Google Scholar

When searching Google Scholar from home, manage scholar settings so that you are recognized as a Penn State student:

  1. click on the link to SETTINGS in the upper right of the Google Scholar search page (gear icon)
  2. click on LIBRARY LINKS in the left margin
  3. enter Pennsylvania State University and click on the search icon
  4. when "Pennsylvania State University" appears, place a check in the box preceding it and click on SAVE

After searching in Google Scholar, use the Get it! @ Penn State link to access full text journal articles.

This brief screencast demonstrates the steps.


Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliogaphy?

bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you're doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

(above definition from the Purdue Online Writing Lab)