Writing your Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, journal articles, and other works accompanied by descriptive and critical paragraphs.
Each annotation will have 4 brief elements:
1. Begin by formatting your citation. Use CSE format and cite the source. There is information on formatting your citations in the 'Citing Your Research' tab of this guide. Ask a librarian if you need help!
2. Next, begin the annotation part by briefly explaining what the resource is about. You will want to keep it brief, 3-4 sentences. Begin by explaining what the study was about, e.g. what was their research question? Then explain how the study was conducted, e.g. what was their methodology? Then explain their findings. Finally explain what they concluded from their findings.
3. Now is important part. You need to assess and reflect upon the resource; you will argue for the value that your source provides for your paper. This will be the longest part of your annotation. Keep in mind the following questions:
If you do not find a source to be strong and useful to your research it should not be included in your annotated bibliography or used in the construction of your paper. Your research paper will only be as strong as the sources you use to support it.
4. The final element is the statement of the relevance or usefulness of the source to your research.
An Example of an Annotated Bibliography Entry
Aipanjiguly, S, Jacobson, SK, & Flamm, R. 2003. Conserving manatees: Knowledge, attitudes, and intentions of boaters in Tampa Bay, Florida. Conservation Biology, 17(4): 1098-1105.
Boat collisions with manatees account for one-quarter of manatee deaths each year in Florida; emphasizing the need to influence boater behavior toward manatees. A random sample of Florida boaters in Florida participated in a telephone survey regarding knowledge and understanding of manatee conservation efforts. They found a positive correlation between knowledge and support for manatee conservation efforts and support for regulations. The survey results provide a basis for recommendations about public communication interventions to support manatee conservation measures.
The researchers preforming this study work directly in conservation of wildlife, the methodology described in the study was well designed to answer the research question. The results were compelling and provided a clear roadmap for improving knowledge about how boater behavior can impact manatee conservation. This study was conducted using funding provided in part by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Save the Manatee Trust Fund. While the study was conducted several years ago, it has been cited over 200 times providing a strong foundation for assessing the understanding and behavior of this essential component of efforts to conserve the manatee population.
This article will be useful for my paper as I plan to examine the ways in which we can work toward conserving the manatee. Since preserving the habitat of the manatee is complex and multifactorial, working to increase the knowledge and behavior of boaters to reduce manatee deaths is an essential component of preserving these marine mammals.