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COM660: Capstone Research Seminar: Citations, Annotations, and Literature Reviews

Writing annotations & constructing your bibliography

Creating an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography lists all relevant citations alphabetically by author(s) in APA format and provides information about each item. It is the beginning step in creating a literature review. A good annotated bibliography tells the reader what researchers before you have discovered.

To create your annotated bibliography:

  1. Do not separate books from articles.
  2. Double-space the entire annotated bibliography.
  3. Under each citation, write an annotation describing the work and its value to your research. A long annotation is generally 100-200 words; a short one is 75-100 words.

An annotation provides:

  1. a brief but detailed summary of a book, book chapter, or article (about 150-200 words)  
  2. an evaluation of the work compared to other works by the author(s) and/or other works on your topic  
  3. an evaluation of the work’s value to your topic. 

To create a useful annotation:

  1. Provide information about the credentials of the author(s). Is the author a scholar? A professional business person, etc. rather than a scholar? Is he or she in the field of communication, business, education, etc?  
  2. If you are examining a book or theoretical article, state the thesis or central argument, the support given for the thesis, and author’s conclusions.  
  3. If you are examining an empirical study (one derived from observation or experiment), state the research question, describe the study (number of subjects, age, etc.), how data was collected and conclusions, and suggestions for further study.  
  4. How does this resource help your research? How does it compare to other sources you have examined? Does it update, provide a different point of view, or contradict your other sources? If you have extensive literature from one authors (or one group of authors), how does each article or book add on their previous work? If material simply restates what you already know, perhaps it is not necessary to read it further.  
  5. State if the bibliography supplied relevant, timely, and/or credible sources

Additional annotation sources

Literature Reviews

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Citing Sources

Citing a Source that is Cited in Another Source

In-text citation:

Seidenberg and McClelland’s study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993).

Reference list entry:

Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589-608.