Best practices: Creating an annotated bibliography
In this activity, students will create an annotated bibliography.
For any assignment involving library research, a student should be responsible for a bibliography or reference list of sources. For classes where research projects may be left to the last minute, an annotated bibliography due midway through the term helps keep students on track. The purpose of this activity is to help students analyze sources and create concise descriptions of them in an academic context.
- Begin with an explanation of annotated bibliographies defining terms and providing examples if possible.
- Instruct the students to use the library catalog to find books on their research topic.
- Identify for the students a core database from your field or select a multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Premier. Instruct the students to use this database to find articles on their topic.
- After reviewing the materials they find, students should create a bibliography using the appropriate citation style and include a precis or annotation for each resource.
- Students should work with the appropriate style manual (APA, MLA, Chicago, AMA) or a good overall writing manual such as Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference.
- Webster University's Writing Center has helpful Writing Tips.
- How to prepare an annotated bibliography.