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Annotated Bibliography
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Develop an annotated bibliography based on the specific subject you have selected. Become familiar with the services and resources of the following, in the process of research.

Include a three-page synopsis, to serve as a preface to the Annotated Bibliography.

In addition to the Annotated Bibliography, include a list of research resources employed in the process.


  1. Employ resources address through trips to the RWU Architecture Library and RWU main Library.
  2. Obtain books through the HELIN consortium at: http://library.uri.edu/screens/opacmenu.html
  3. Obtain books through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at: http://library.rwu.edu/eforms/illrequest.html
  4. Visit and use one of the HELIN libraries; or another off-campus, large library
  5. Visit and use an archive (such as the Rhode Island arch's; Providence City Archive; Rhode Island Historical Society; Newport Historical Society)


  1. Primary sources, best found in archives;
  2. Peer-reviewed professional articles, using RWU subscription databases and other resources at: http://library.rwu.edu/articles/articles.html. Articles in a periodical index may include an abstract or summary of the article that may help in selecting the most appropriate articles to read — and possibly include.
  3. Books, in the library, through HELIN, ILL; e-books through http://library.rwu.edu/books/books.html
  4. Web resources (limit these resources) with some links at http://library.rwu.edu/webresources/webres.html


Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide to Writing About History, New York: Longman, fourth edition, 2002, Chapter 4: Gathering information, 85-114; Chapter 5: Taking notes and writing drafts, 115-134; Chapter 6: Suggestions about style, 135-153; Chapter 7: Writing conventions, 154-175; Chapter 8: Documenting sources, 175-192. Use these chapters as reference material to develop your methodology, style, and format. While the assignment does not involve writing a research paper, Marius and Page is helpful in developing research skills and preparing an annotated bibliography. [buy at Amazon]

Other readings and resources are cited throughout the assignment.

Citation Systems

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Sixth Edition, 1996 [buy at Amazon; online edition at Bartleby.com]

The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, 14th Edition, 1993 [buy at Amazon; FAQs answered by The University of Chicago]


Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography includes a list of citations to books, articles, and documents (primary and secondary). Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph (the annotation), which provides a review of the literature on a particular subject. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

An "abstract" is just descriptive; an "annotation" is descriptive and critical. Many periodical indexes include a summary with most citations. This summary is labeled "annotation", but it is not critical.

A bibliography is a full reference list to all the sources which an author has used or referred to in preparing a particular piece of work. Under the Harvard system the bibliography should be arranged alphabetically by author. A bibliography is judged by its content and form: it is also the basis upon which a work is substantiated. Bibliographies used to be lists of written resources. Today, however, they often include information on other resources such as the following:


  • Video and audio tapes
  • Computer resources
  • Speeches

A bibliographic work usually includes information such as the following:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Place of publication or interview
  • Name of publisher, resource, repository
  • Date

Abstracts (as contrasted with Annotated Bibliographies)
Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

Spitzer, Kathleen L.; Eisenberg, Michael B.; Lowe, Carrie A. (1998) Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age. Web republication retrieved 29 October 2002 from ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology at Syracuse University. Web site: http://www.ericit.org/toc/infoliteracytoc.shtml
ABSTRACT: This monograph traces the history and development of the term "information literacy." It examines the economic necessity of being information literate, and explores the research related to the concept. Included are reports on the National Educational Goals (1991) and on the report of the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS, 1991). Also examined are recent revisions in national subject matter standards that imply a recognition of the process skills included in information literacy. The book outlines the impact information literacy has on K-12 and higher education, and provides examples of information literacy in various contexts. Appendices include: Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning (prepared by the American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology); definitions of SCANS components; a chronology of the development of information literacy; correlation of information literacy skills with selected National Subject Matter Standards; Dalbotten's Correlation of Inquiry Skills to National Content Standards; and an explanation of rubrics and their application in standards education. Contains an extensive annotated ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) bibliography and information about ERIC.

Book Reviews
"Book reviews are both descriptive and evaluative. It is the reviewer's job to summarize the book and to judge its merit or significance. A reviewer will often place the book in its larger context by comparing it to others on the topic, or by noting how it fills a gap in the subject area. Reviews, therefore, often go far beyond discussing what a particular book is "about". They can be a valuable source of insight into the intellectual debates on a topic." Source: How to find
book reviews, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Web site: http://www.mun.ca/library/research_help/qeii/find_book_reviews.html, which has additional resources.


The purpose of an annotation is to describe, critically, the cited material, with reference to a specific subject. The annotation provides sufficient synthesis and critical evaluation so a reader can readily determine if the source is credible, accurate and relevant (with reference to the specific subject), and whether it warrants full consideration.

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

It begins with a citation of the work. It is important to use a consistent, standard format (MLA, Turabian, etc.) as you would for a "Reference" page.

An Annotated Bibliography will have a similar format to a Bibliography page, but with three differences:

  1. it includes works (references) useful to the reader, but that might not have used (cited) in the writing of a particular paper or article;
  2. the references may be organized into categories, which are arranged to guide the user;
  3. it includes a commentary (critical annotation) to the references, telling the reader of particular virtues (or, as necessary, the shortcomings) of the resource, at times in the context of other references.

Annotations are concise, economical summaries, written in sentence fragments (if necessary); if related, fragments are connected with semicolons. The commentary begins on a new line, indented slightly from the preceding line.

Annotations can be any length, but they are typically about 100 to 150 words.

There are at least three types of annotations:

  1. Informative: Written in the tone of the book or article, an informative annotation presents the original material in a shorter form.
  2. Descriptive: Provides a description of the text, avoiding the addition of any evaluative commentary on its quality. 
  3. Evaluative: In addition to the information included in the previous annotation types, includes an evaluate judgment of the material as well. 

For some works, it may be important to indicate a location (library, archive, Internet site), or means of obtaining the citation; some documents — especially primary sources in archives — may be difficult to find.

Locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.


Critically evaluate each work to determine if it is suitable for your topic. For guidelines on this process, see:

Savage Library (2000) "Is This Information Any Good?" from Western State College of Colorado. Web site: http://www.western.edu/lib/instruction/goodinfo.html

Ormondroyd, Joan. Critically Analyzing Information Sources. Updated, edited and Webified by Michael Engle, and Tony Cosgrave, Reference Services Division, Olin Kroch Uris Libraries, Cornell University Library. Web site: http://www.library.cornell.edu/okuref/research/skill26.htm

Bibliographic entries (citations) may be arranged just as in any other bibliography. This is usually arranged alphabetically by the first word, which is typically the author’s last name. Some Annotated Bibliographies are divided in to sections, by topic.

Cite the book, article, or report using an appropriate style: Turabian, MLA, APA, Chicago, CBE, others. Consistent with the style you are employing, note the edition or if a publication has been reprinted.

The annotation may then immediately follow the bibliographic information or may skip one or two lines depending on the style manual that is used. Remember to be brief and include only directly significant information and write in an efficient manner.



  • First, define and refine the scope of the subject.
  • Determine the methodology, style and format, with reference to reading and other resources.
  • Examine and review the actual text and illustrations of each work. Do not rely on the opinion (through book reviews, third-party abstracts, evaluations in other publications, etc.)
  • Do not include irrelevant books, which may only have a few pages of information found elsewhere.
  • Selectively include a major publication, which does not include pertinent information, only to advise a reader that the source is irrelevant.
  • Be considerate of the readers, knowing they want a range of the most pertinent works available.
  • Consider your own biases, and adjust your research and writing accordingly.
  • Choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives and ideas on your topic.


  • Note the author. 
  • Describe is his/her occupation, position, education, experience, etc.
  • Evaluate the authority or background of the author,


  • Assess the purpose for writing the article or doing the research. 

Intended Audience (of work, not the Annotated Bibliography)

  • Determine the intended audience.
  • Is it intended for the general public, for scholars, policy makers, teachers, professionals, practitioners, etc.? 
  • Is this reflected in the author's style of writing or presentation? 

Author Bias

  • Determine if the author has a bias or makes assumptions upon which the rationale of the article or research rests.
  • What are the biases? 

Information Source

  • Determine the method of obtaining the data, or conducting the research employed by the author.
  • Determine if the article (or book) based on personal opinion or experience, interviews, library research, questionnaires, laboratory experiments, standardized personality tests, etc.
  • Evaluate reliability.
  • Evaluate the methods (research) used.
  • Evaluate the resources cited.

Author Conclusion

  • Describe the author's conclusion.
  • Does the author satisfactorily justify the conclusion from the research or experience? Why or why not? 

Significant Attachments

  • Are there significant attachments or appendices such as charts, maps, bibliographies, photographs, documents, tests or questionnaires? If not, should there be?

Relate to Subject and Other Works

  • Explain how this work illuminates the bibliography topic. How is it useful?
  • Compare or contrast this work with another (or others) cited.
  • Is the work, or its date or view, out-of-date, yet a valid historical reference?
  • Describe "your" reaction to the item. Use technical writing format: not "I" or "my".


Brandt, D. Scott. Evaluating information on the Internet. Computers in Libraries. May 1996.

In the context of describing the components of a bibliographic instruction course at the Purdue University Libraries, this article deals with the adaptation of traditional print evaluation techniques to the Internet environment. One intriguing part of the article includes a discussion of the relationship between searching for information, the evaluation of sources, and the lack of correlation between the two.

Schrock, Kathleen (August 1998), Evaluation of World Wide Web Sites: An Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Web site: http://ericit.org/digests/EDO-IR-1998-02.shtml

Bridging the Gap: Using Findings in Local Land Use Decisions, 2nd edition (March 1989); $9.00 from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, 1400 Tenth St., Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 322-3170. Available on the Internet at http://ceres.ca.gov/planning/

This popular booklet outlines what findings are, why they are necessary, and when local agencies should prepare them. It also suggests guidelines for preparing findings based on principles founded in case law. Included in the second edition is an expanded table listing the types of land use decisions requiring findings, examples of staff reports showing how findings are used, and an index of statutes requiring local findings.

Sources: An Annotated Bibliography for California Planners. Retrieved 16 October 2002 from California Planning, Governor's Office of Planning and Research, State of California. Web site: http://ceres.ca.gov/planning/sources/cal_planning.html#calplan_anchor

Buchsweiler, M. Volksdeutsche in der Ukraine am Vorabend und Beginn des Zweiten Weltskrlegs: Ein Fall Doppolter Loyaltat? [Ethnic Germans in the Ukraine before and at the Beginning of the Second World War: A Case of Double Loyalty?]. Tel Aviv, Israel: Bleicher Universitait, 1984.

A history of the Germans living in Ukraine from the 1920s to the 1940s. This book provides a great deal of information on the cultural life of the Ukrainian Germans during the era of korenzatslia. It provides statistics and lists on German language publications, education, and other official expressions of culture in the USSR. The book then details the policies of the Nazis towards the Soviet Germans in Ukraine during World War II.

Pohl, J. Otto. Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999, Selected Annotated Bibliography, pp. 171-176. Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Research Centre for Turkestan and Azerbaijan (SOTA). Web site: http://www.euronet.nl/users/sota/pohlbiblio.html

Buckstead, Richard C. "Eros, Aesthetics and Fate: Kawabata's Beauty and Sadness.In Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Asian Studies,v.2, 1982: 237-268.

This examination discusses how aesthetic art and life are intertwined, with art being a representation of human existence. In order to best represent life, the artist must draw upon their own intuition and those traditions of the past which enhance the artwork and understanding of nature. According to Buckstead, the artists represented in Beauty and Sadness fail to understand and represent nature, which lead to unfortunate consequences. Likewise, Kawabata shows that the role of art is to enhance the artist's perception of the aesthetic beauty, while recognizing the impermanence of this beauty.

Yasunari Kawabata Bibliography (last updated 5/1999). Retrieved 29 October 2002 from Allen Reichert. Web site: http://www.otterbein.edu/home/fac/plarchr/kawaa-g.htm

Doe, J. T. and Williams, W. R. "Parental supervision of television viewing and aggressive behavior in children." Journal of Television and Violence 51 (1996), 534-540.

The authors, researchers at Western State College, collected data from a group of 8-year-olds to test their hypothesis that the amount of violence children saw on television relates to the aggressiveness of their behavior. They found that children who were allowed to watch evening police dramas and "made for TV" specials with abusive situations demonstrated increased aggressive behavior over children who were not permitted to watch these programs. The researchers did not find a connection between aggression in children and television violence as displayed in cartoons and news programs. Another study, conducted by Smith and Wesson, showed that the amount of television violence viewed by children does correlate with aggressive behavior. Smith and Wesson, however, do not consider the type of program viewed. The article by Doe and Williams is one of the few studies that examines aggressive behavior as it relates to different types of television programs.

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (October 2000). Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Guide to Research @ Savage Library, Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College of Colorado. Web site: http://www.western.edu/lib/instruction/bibliography.html

Elias MF, Elias PK, Cobb J, D'Agostino R, White, L. R., Wolf, PA. Blood pressure affects cognitive functioning: The Framingham Studies Revisited. In J Dimsdale, A Baum (eds.), Quality of Life in Behavioral Medicine Research. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum, in press.

In this excellent chapter, data from the Framingham Heart Study is analyzed with more traditional psychometric approaches (multiple regression with continuous outcomes) and compared to previous publications where similar data have been analyzed with more traditional epidemiologic methods (logistic regression models). The authors point out the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and provide an excellent synthesis of their findings. This is a model of excellent collaboration between behavioral and epidemiologic approaches.

Siegler, Ilene C. (Last modified October 1995.) Cardiovascular Disease Annotated Bibliography, CVD Endpoint Criteria — Chapter 20: Psycosocial Factor Measurement Methodology. Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Web site: http://www.fhcrc.org/phs/cvdeab/chpt20.html

Gass, Patrick. A Journal of the Voyages and Travels of a Corps of Discovery, Under the Command of Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke . . . Pittsburgh, 1807.

Although Gass’s journal is not the Lewis and Clark journals, his was the first account of the expedition to get published. The name of Patrick Gass is mentioned by Lewis and Clark more than any other member of the expedition. After Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea, Gass is the best known of the men. Also, he was the first to get his account of the expedition into print. His journal was purchased by a publisher who took great liberty in editing it. Cutright says the publisher "manipulated the language of the tough, untutored, tobacco-chewing army sergeant into the resolutely correct, preceptorial prose of the early-nineteenth-century schoolmaster." 

Gillette, Lance (n.d.). Primary Source Materials: Bibliography of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Retrieved 29 October 2002 from Lance Gillette. Web site: http://www.olypen.com/gillde/lance/bibliographies/lewis.htm

Graybosch, Anthony, Gregory M. Scott and Stephen Garrison. The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

Designed to serve as either as a writing guide or as a primary textbook for teaching philosophy through writing, the Manual is an excellent resource for students new to philosophy. Like other books in this area, the Manual contains sections on grammar, writing strategies, introductory informal logic and the different types of writing encountered in various areas of philosophy. Of particular note, however, is the section on conducting research in philosophy. The research strategies and sources of information described there are very much up-to-date, including not only directories and periodical indexes, but also research institutes, interest groups and Internet resources.

Buschert, Will. "Examples of What Your Bibliography Should Look Like," Retrieved on 29 October 2001 from Philosophical Writing: An Annotated Bibliography, Writing in Philosophy, University of Toronto . Web site: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/philosophy/phlwrite/phlbib.html

Hutchings, Pat. 1996. Making Teaching Community Property: A Menu for Peer Collaboration and Peer Review. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education.

This volume describes nine strategies through which faculty can make their work as teachers available to one another—be it for individual improvement, for building the collective wisdom of practice in the field, or for personnel decision making. Illustrated by reports from faculty who have used them, these strategies include, among others, teaching circles, reciprocal classroom observations, team teaching, and external peer review. All of these are predicated, as the opening chapter points out, on a view of teaching as scholarly work. Three corollaries unify this vision: teaching as a process of ongoing reflection and inquiry; the need for collegial exchange and publicness; and faculty’s professional responsibility for the quality of their work as teachers.

Hutchings, Pat and Chris Bjork (Spring 1999 ). An Annotated Bibliography of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Retrieved 16 October 2002 from The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Web site: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/CASTL/highered/docs/bibliography.htm

Knirk, F.G. (1987), Instructional Facilities for the Information Age, 1987, Retrieved 16 October 2002 from ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources, Syracuse, NY, ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED 296 734

Knirk is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Technology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a well-published author in the field of educational facilities design. In order to inform educators so that they in turn can communicate effectively with architects and school administrators about necessary educational facilities design requirements, Knirk summarizes the research on six design issues relating to the optimization of a technology-rich teaching/learning environment: (1) light and color, (2) heating, ventilation and air conditioning, (3) acoustical and background noise, (4) furniture and ergonomics, (5) electrical wiring and conduit requirements, and (6) computer requirements. Additional sections discuss grouped and individualized learning environments and audiovisual media. Many specific measurements and recommendations are given, including viewing angles, light levels, workstation requirements and classroom space configurations. Although the focus is on elementary and secondary educational buildings, the majority of the content is applicable to higher education settings as well and, given its easily accessible nature as an ERIC Information Analysis Product, this text should be read by any librarian planning an electronic classroom.

Hinchliffe, Lisa Janicke (1994). Planning an Electronic Library Classroom: An Annotated Bibliography, Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Coordinator of Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign. Web site: http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~janicke/Abstracts.html

Martinich, A. P. Philosophical Writing: An Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989.

An excellent introduction to the peculiarities of philosophical writing, ranging in difficulty from elementary to moderately advanced. Martinich maintains that half of good philosophy is good grammar and the other half is good thinking and his book is geared toward helping students to write clear, precise and concise philosophical prose. The book includes a crash course on basic concepts in logic, a catalogue of the types of arguments typically found in philosophical writing, and an examination of the structure of a philosophical essay. Of particular interest is Martinich's discussion of the concepts of author and audience as they apply to academic writing.

Buschert, Will. "Examples of What Your Bibliography Should Look Like," Retrieved on 29 October 2001 from Philosophical Writing: An Annotated Bibliography, Writing in Philosophy, University of Toronto . Web site: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/philosophy/phlwrite/phlbib.html

McWhorter, Kathleen, Study and Thinking Skills in College, Little Brown, Boston, Mass. 1996

Kathleen McWhorter's goal in this book is to approach study and thinking as active learning processes; consequently, she includes many opportunities for students to interact with her material and offers techniques for students to think and interact with lectures and other means of conveying information. She also helps students develop a positive attitude toward learning, organize themselves effectively, take responsibility for their own learning, improve time management skills, and prepare for exams.

Study Skill Annotated Bibliography (2002). Retrieved 16 October 2002 from Student Handbook, University of Minnesota Duluth, MN. Web site: http://www.d.umn.edu/student/loon/acad/strat/bibliography.html

Rosenberg, Jay F. The Practice of Philosophy: A Handbook for Beginners, 2nd Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1984.

Intended as a general-purpose introduction to the practice of philosophy in the "analytic" style, Rosenberg's book includes quite a lot on philosophical writing. In effect, Rosenberg divides the class of philosophical essays into four main types: critical, adjudicatory, problem-solving and essays expositing an original thesis. A variety of critical and argumentative strategies are provided in connection with the first three types. Examples of What Your

Buschert, Will. "Examples of What Your Bibliography Should Look Like," Retrieved on 29 October 2001 from Philosophical Writing: An Annotated Bibliography, Writing in Philosophy, University of Toronto . Web site: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/philosophy/phlwrite/phlbib.html

Select Resources

    Michael Engle, Amy Blumenthal, and Tony Cosgrave (Revised 3 March 1998). How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography. Reference Services, IRIS, Cornell University Library. Web site: http://www.library.cornell.edu/okuref/research/skill28.htm

    Savage Library (2000) Is This Information Any Good? Retreived 29 October 2002 from Western State College of Colorado. Web site: http://www.western.edu/lib/instruction/goodinfo.html

    Ormondroyd, Joan. Critically Analyzing Information Sources. Updated, edited and Webified by Michael Engle, and Tony Cosgrave. Retreived 29 October 2002 from Reference Services Division, Olin Kroch Uris Libraries, Cornell University Library. Web site: http://www.library.cornell.edu/okuref/research/skill26.htm

    Research Guide: Writing an Annotated Bibliography (1999). Retrieved 29 October 2002 from RWU Libraries, Roger Williams University. Web site: http://library.rwu.edu/researchhelp/annotatedbib.html