I. The purpose of this assignment is to briefly summarize information or sources you have found about a particular topic. An annotated bibliography can do any or all of the following.
A. Present the most important sources you can assemble about a topic.
B. Answer specific questions about a topic.
C. Support an idea or position toward a topic.
D. Evaluate the usefulness of your sources.
II. Before you begin writing your annotated bibliography, you should know the required number and kind of resources. Your instructor will specify how many sources you should include and how current those sources should be, and the librarians will help you find them.
III. Your instructor may want your annotated bibliography to include all or some of the following sections:
A. An introduction which states the purpose of your bibliography, the questions your information answers, and/or the ideas or position it supports.
B. A summary of the major ideas of each of your sources in a paragraph or two. Before each summary, give complete bibliographic information (author, title, publisher, publication date, pages) using the citation format found in any research writing handbook. Consult your instructor for suggestions about such handbooks. The following is an example of an entry:
Jones, Joseph. "The Chemical Causes of Alcoholism," Psychology Today, June, 1976, 21-48.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the Mayo Clinic have independently discovered a relationship between carbohydrate consumption and chronic alcoholism. Scientists at both institutions are currently testing the effect of low carbohydrate diets as part of the treatment for chronic alcoholics. Results, although tentative, indicate that this treatment mode is helpful in 73-75 percent of the cases tested. However, a five-year study will be necessary to confirm these results.
Note: Some instructors may ask you to evaluate your sources based on certain criteria. If so, include the evaluation in your summary paragraph.
C. A paragraph or two in conclusion to reemphasize certain concepts.
IV. Your bibliography may be evaluated on some or all of the following criteria, and it's a good idea to have one of the Metropolitan State University Writing Center tutors read your bibliography.
A. The thoroughness of your research.
B. Your use of appropriate (current, respected, and/or scholarly) sources.
C. The use of summaries to fulfill the purpose of your bibliography as it was expressed in the introduction.
A. Use of irrelevant materials (sources which say nothing related to the ideas presented in your introduction).
B. Failure to consult specialized or scholarly bibliographies, reference works, or journals.