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PSYC300: Research Methods: Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to informat the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotated references (or bibliographies) are different from abstracts in that abstracts are purely descriptive summaries of a research paper found at the beginning of the article. Annotated bibliographies are descriptive but also critical; they should summarize the theory/hypotheses/method/findings of the study, evaluate the validity or contributions of the study, and explain how the work illuminates your won topic of study.

How to prepare an annotated bibliography

A guide to preparing an annotated bibliography from Cornell University Library.

A sample annotated bibliography: 

Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Your annotated references should include the following 4 components for each of your five references:

  1. Complete citation of source in APA format.
  2. Status of the reference -- Do you have access to the full article at this time? Are you waiting on it from Interlibrary Loan? If so, when did you request the article?
  3. A brief summary of the article (including subject, authors' theory and/or hypothesis, methodology, findings, summary of key points; your evaluative comments on the work -- i.e., its validity and contributions; how it relates to other work in the field and findings by others).
  4. Explanation of how the reference will fit into your paper (i.e., how does it lead to justify your hypothesis and/or support your argument?)

Organizing a paper