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SDV-100: Career Exploration Assignment

Annotated bibliography

bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, websites, 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.

    For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.

  • 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?

    For more help, see our handouts on evaluating resources.

  • 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.

Information taken from the Annotated Bibliographies created by the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Abstracts are descriptive summaries that present the main points or focus of specific works (e.g., articles, books, conference proceedings). They normally do not include a critique or evaluation of the work. Abstracts usually appear at the beginning of scholarly journal articles and in the library databases (e.g., article search results list and database article records). An abstract's purpose is to help you decide whether an article is relevant to your research. 

Annotations also cover specific works (e.g., articles, books, conference proceedings) but they can include descriptive summaries, evaluative summaries, or a combination of both. A descriptive annotation summarizes the scope and content of a work whereas an evaluative annotation provides critical comment. Annotations usually appear in an annotated bibliography. Many instructors will include both an annotated bibliography as well as a research paper as part of a course's required assignments. You will typically complete an annotated bibliography assignment before you begin work on a research paper. Completing an annotated bibliography first will help you organize and write your research paper.

MLA Style - Journal Article from a Library Database:

Berry, Barnett and Patrick M. Shields. "Solving the Teacher Shortage." Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 98, no. 8, May 2017, p. 8. EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1177/0031721717708289. This article discusses the efforts made in both California and North Carolina in the late 1990s to

strengthen the teaching profession. Following recommendations from the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future,

both California and North Carolina amped up their efforts in teacher recruitment, created mentoring programs for beginning

teachers, and provided incentives for veteran teachers if they sought out national board certifications. The authors argue that due

to a decrease in political support, mostly in terms of funding, these efforts proved to be unsuccessful and without additional

support in the future, these states will continue to struggle to fill teaching positions. Though the article provides an interesting

look into a specific period of time in two states with well cited information, the conclusion is anti-climactic in terms of a solution.

MLA Style – Online Video Clip:

The Patient Care Nursing Team. Films Media Group, 2002,

Accessed 23 Aug. 2017. Incorporating interviews with working nurses from a range of medical specialties, the film provides a

brief overview of many aspects of the nursing field including; choosing nursing as a profession; role of liaison between the

patient and the doctor; demanding/rewarding positions within the field; places of employment; nursing education; career

advancement; and the difficult demands of the position. Published in 2002, this film is outdated but still contains some helpful

insight to the nursing field.