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Student Learning Center: Annotated Bibliography

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Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography?


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations, each of which is followed by a brief description and evaluation of that source. Specific guidelines vary for annotations. You can find more information on the Otis specific way of doing annotated bibliographies on the Library website.


The Otis Annotated Bibliography


Author last name, Author first name. "Title of Article." Name of Journal, vol. Volume number, no. Issue number, Date published, pp. Page numbers. Name of Database, DOI or URL.


[Author Credentials] Who is the author? Where do they work, what other research have they done, other things they have published, etc.

[Audience/Type of Information] Talk about the source here (journal article, book, etc.). Who is the intended audience? (Students? The general public? Other professionals in the field?) You can also talk about the format of the source - is it all text? Does it include photographs, charts, or other graphics? In general, how is the information being communicated?  

[Bias / Point of View] What is the perspective of the author? Do they have a bias of any kind? For example, are they coming at the topic from an academic perspective, or someone who has work experience in a certain field, or maybe they just have an interest in the subject? Do they have an degree in the subject? Are they completely objective with regards to the material, or are they promoting a certain point of view?

[Currency of the Source] Talk here about the relevance of the article. Is it the most up-to-date research on the subject, or was it written 30 years ago? Is the author well-respected in the field, or have there been other articles written which discredit the findings? If the information comes from a textbook or encyclopedia, do you have the most recent version? How does it fit in with other research done on the same topic, or within conversations about the topic?

[Relevance to Paper] How does the source relate to your paper? Does it directly address your thesis statement, or are you using it for background information? Does it speak to a particular aspect of your paper?  How relevant is it to your topic overall?

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