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Dr. Nabours - History Courses

Annotated Bibliography Research Project

For this project you will produce an annotated bibliography. The purpose of this assignment is to hone research skills and critically engage history. You will research various types of primary and secondary sources, summarize them, and evaluate the reliability of the source. The skills you develop with this project allow you to conduct more reliable research on issues, both contemporary and from the past. 

For this assignment, and any other historical research and writing you might do, you will need to locate and evaluate several different types of sources. Please use the tabs on the left hand side of the page to learn more about what each type of sources is, how to find them, and how to determine if they are appropriate for you. 

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

This page will help students create an annotated bibliography.

Note: An annotated bibliography is different from a regular bibliography or works cited page.

Writing an annotated bibliography will help you think about which source you should choose for your research paper. Your annotated bibliography will include one citation and one paragraph of notes (an annotation) for each of your sources.

This guide and video contains directions and tips for creating an annotated bibliography.

How to Write Your Annotations

Below is an example of a typical annotation. Different instructors or assignments might have additional requirements so please make sure to review the instructions carefully. 

A standard annotation contain 3 (three) parts:

  1. Who is the author and what are their credentials or role in the historical event or period
  2. A brief summary of the work's thesis, or an explanation of the type of document it is if it is a primary source
  3. An explanation of how the source relates to your research topic, or how it relates to your other sources

Some other information that might be included in an annotation are:

  1. When was the information published or last updated?
  2. The motivation of the author for creating this work. Is it fact or opinion?
  3. What evidence does the author use to support their argument? Do they cite their sources?



Annotated bibliograpjhy example from above PDF document.

These resource can help you write your annotations:

  • Search online to find the credentials of your secondary source authors. What advanced degrees do they have? Do they teach at a college or university?
  • Use the Gale in Context: Biography database to find information about the author of your primary source.
  • Search for book reviews of your secondary sources in the Academic Search Complete and JSTOR databases to determine the thesis of these books.
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