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Annotated Bibliography  

Last Updated: May 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Annotated Bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography?

If you are reading this page, then you are looking for  help with an annotated bibliography. A bibliography (also know as references, citations, or works cited) is a list of resources you have used to conduct your research. An annotated bibliography is simply adding a short paragraph beneath each resource describing the work's significance to your research. Most instructors ask for you to write 3-5 sentences on the resource. You need to describe the resource and then explain how that resource will benefit your paper. 

There are a few things you should keep in mind.

1. You are not actually writing a paper but you will be conducting research.

2. Begin your research early, and the process will go much smoother. 

3. Some instructors will tell you exacly what to write in your annotations. 

4. Pay close attention to the assignment details, there is no reason not to get an "A"



Online Resources for Annotated Bibliographies


Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Read your assignment carefully. The more you understand about your assignment, the better your work will be and therefore, the better your grade will be. There are several instructors at OTC who assign their students annotated bibliographies and each instructor has different expectations. For the most part you can expect a few similarities. 

Most instructors require their assignements to be in APA format. For more information on APA format just click on the link. 

Choose a topic. Choosing a topic can be the most difficult part of the assignment. Sometimes your instructor will assign you a topic. However, in most cases you will be allowed to choose your own topic. Think of a subject in your field of study or something in which you've always wanted to know more. Be careful with your selection of topic, you may not find a lot of information on that subject. Just in case, have a backup topic in mind. 

Create an EasyBib account. OTC subscribes to EasyBib, which is fantastic resource for organizing your citations. You can add annotations, print as Word document, import from the library catalog and Galileo, and EasyBib will store your information indefinitely. Be sure to register on campus to get access to all the features in EasyBib. Click here for more information.

Conduct research. Research can seem like a challenge but once you get the hang of it, it's really very easy. Check out this page on conducting research. Remeber that you might have to change your topic if you cannot find any resources on your original research.

Create a list of citations. This may be the easiest part of the research process. Simply sign in to your EasyBib account and import your citations from the library catalog or Galileo. You can also mannually enter your resouces into EasyBib. Click here to see why you should use EasyBib.

Write your annotations. The best way to approach this step is to either hand write your paragraphs or type them into a Word document. This will give you an opportunity to write a rough draft of your annotations. 

Edit your annotations. Once you have written your annotations, read back over the paragraph(s) to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. 

Add annotations in EasyBib. Now you can add your annotations into EasyBib. Use the following link to see step by step instructions. 

Double check your assignment. Before you turn in your assignment, make sure and read back over the assignment to make sure you did not leave anything out. 


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