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ENGL 4: Basic Writing Skills

Instructor: Deb Ousey

Meet a Librarian

Recommended Databases

Wake up with a poll everywhere exercise

 

Penn State's databases are searchable sources of published material.

Google Search Tips

Try these strategies for better results from your Google searches:

  • Enter your search terms into the Google search box and click on search.  Now click on News to limit your results to news articles.
  • Search for information within a specific domain such as .gov, .edu, .org, or .com by adding the following limiters to your google search:  example:  gun control domain:org

APA Citation Format

Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?*

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.

*definition from the Purdue Online Writing Lab