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Information Literacy Session 5: Annotated Bibliography: How to Create an Annotated Bibliography

Formatting an Annotated Bibliography

Your annotated bibliography will sometimes be an independent assignment, or may be included at the end of a research paper, and will look something like the image to the right. 

 

For more information constructing citations and for examples of citations for various types of sources (articles, books, websites, images, etc.), please see the following resources:

A Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry

Kharecha, P. A., & Hansen, J. (2013). Prevented mortality and greenhouse gas emissions from historical and projected nuclear power. Environmental Science and Technology47 (9), 4889–4895. doi: 10.1021/es3051197

In Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power, Kharecha and Hansen (2013) hypothesized that replacing carbon-producing fuels with nuclear power could “prevent an average of 420 000–7.04 million deaths and 80–240 GtCO2-eq emissions due to fossil fuels by midcentury, depending on which fuel it replaces” (p. 4889). They correlated the historical output of CO2 to the resultant air pollution-related deaths to determine that the use of nuclear power since 1971 has prevented “ an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning” (p. 4889). The authors found that increased reliance on nuclear energy would be safer and less ecologically harmful than continued reliance on fossil fuels or expansion of natural gas use. The publisher of this paper, American Chemical Society, is known to be a reputable, peer-reviewed source, but it has lately come under fire by the libertarian-leaning Watts Up With That blog for presenting a political agenda. Because of the known bias of Watts Up With That, such claims are not necessarily prohibitive; likewise, there are no peer-reviewed studies refuting the data of the article. This article is especially useful for discussing the opportunity costs of society’s dependence on coal and oil as well as for calming some of societies’ concerns about nuclear energy.

Using a Research Matrix

Use a research matrix to keep track of your sources as you go, and evaluate them at the same time. Your matrix doesn't need to look exactly like this one, but having a quick reference to all of the relevant sources you find in a single location will save you a lot of time when it comes to writing your annotated bibliography, as well as your final paper.

Your notes or comments section can contain notes for your annotation, or even your entire annotation! You don't need to use all of the sources that you record in your matrix. But using one will allow you to evaluate all of the sources you find, and to determine which are the best for your purposes, all in one place.

Brief citation 

Location

Type

Notes/comments

The history of the Greek and Roman Theater by Margarete Bieber 

HWC library PA3201 .B52

Book

1961 publication date - OK for basic information, but there might be more recent/up-to-date research

The Cambridge companion to Greek and Roman theatre edited by Marianne McDonald and J. Michael Walton

HWC library PA3201 .C26 2007

Book

Not as in-depth as the Bieber book, but more up-to-date, and has good info for this paper

Skilful Spectatorship? Doing (or Being) Audience at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in Shakespeare Studies, 2015, pp 99-113. 

Academic Search Complete/EBSCO database

Academic journal article

Great resource for my social history of theater paper!

 

How to Create an Annotated Bibliography in MLA

How to summarize an entire article, in 3 steps

Three, 3, Number, Ranking, Rating, Business, Symbol To summarize an article in 3 steps:

  1. Take note of the main ideas

  2. Consider the purpose of your summary

  3. Combine the main ideas in a way that is easy to read

For example:

Please read the article Scientists set to prepare strongest warning that warming man-made and note how the three steps above are applied here:

1) Take note of the main ideas contained in the original article.

to prepare the strongest warning yet that climate change is man-made and will cause more heatwaves, droughts and floods this century unless governments take action.

Officials from up to 195 governments and scientists will meet in Stockholm from September 23-26 to edit a 31-page draft that also tries to explain why the pace of warming has slowed this century despite rising human emissions of greenhouse gases.

a main guide for governments, which have agreed to work out a United Nations deal by the end of 2015 to avert the worst impacts.

at least a 95 percent probability – to be the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

“There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed some climate extremes,” the draft says of man-made warming.

Most impacts are projected to get worse unless governments sharply cut greenhouse gas emissions

In itself, a shift from 90 to 95 percent “would not be a huge short of adrenalin” for spurring government and public awareness… extreme weather events, such as a 2010 drought in Russia that pushed up world

grain prices, or last year’s Superstorm Sandy in the United States, meant that “there is more of a visceral feel for climate change among the public.”

Trying to boost weak global economic growth, governments have focused relatively little on climate change since failing to agree a U.N. deal at a summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

the IPCC will face extra scrutiny after the 2007 report exaggerated the rate of melt of the Himalayan glaciers. A review of the IPCC said that the main conclusions were unaffected by the error.

A combination of natural variations and other factors such as sun-dimming volcanic eruptions have caused the hiatus, it says, predicting a resumption of warming in coming years. The report also finds that the atmosphere may be slightly less sensitive to a build-up of carbon dioxide than expected.

2)  Consider the purpose of your summary to decide which aspects of the article are most important. This does not mean ignore the parts that disagree with you. It simply means that you ask questions such as, “Is it more important to point out that they are preparing for a meeting, or is it more important that they are preparing to warn us about global warming, OR are the things they are going to warn us about the actual important things?” Depending on the aim of your paper, you might want to highlight different aspects. If we focus on the things they are set to warn us about, then we are left with the following ideas:

The fifth report of the IPCC will offer to prepare the strongest warning yet that climate change is man-made and will cause more heatwaves, droughts and floods this century unless governments take action.

at least a 95 percent probability – to be the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

“There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed some climate extremes,”

Most impacts are projected to get worse unless governments sharply cut greenhouse gas emissions

extreme weather events, such as a 2010 drought in Russia that pushed up world grain prices, or last year’s Superstorm Sandy in the United States, meant that “there is more of a visceral feel for climate change among the public.”

Trying to boost weak global economic growth, governments have focused relatively little on climate change since failing to agree a U.N. deal at a summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

the IPCC will face extra scrutiny after the 2007 report exaggerated the rate of melt of the Himalayan glaciers. A review of the IPCC said that the main conclusions were unaffected by the error.

A combination of natural variations and other factors such as sun-dimming volcanic eruptions have caused the hiatus, it says, predicting a resumption of warming in coming years. The report also finds that the atmosphere may be slightly less sensitive to a build-up of carbon dioxide than expected.

3)  Find a way to combine these ideas in a way that is easy to read (i.e.: not just a collection of randomly presented factoids) and remains true to the ideas presented in the article. 

Here is a summary:

The fifth report of the IPCC will assert at least a 95% probability that human activities are the main cause of global warming since the 1950s and that left unchecked, we can expect the warming to cause more extreme weather events over this century. The report will caution that the impacts of climate change will be worsened if governments do not act to drastically curtail greenhouse gas emissions. The 4th report of the IPCC asserted a 90% probability that human activities were responsible for driving climate change, and though they do not expect the increase in probability to spur greater public awareness, scientists suggest that recent extreme weather events have made climate change more visible to the public. They likewise suggest that global economic considerations have decreased governments’ foci on global warming since the failed UN summit in Copenhagen in 2009. The IPCC will explain the 15-year hiatus in global warming by detailing “a combination of natural variations” and predicts resumption of the warming in coming years.