Annotated bibliography



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Annotated bibliography: a list of sources with a brief summary of the source and an evaluation on its usefulness to the topic being researched.
Why do I have to do this???


To learn about your topic: Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. Just collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you're forced to read each source more carefully. You begin to read more critically instead of just collecting information.


To help you formulate a thesis: Every good research paper is an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So a very important part of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. Then, you’ll be able to develop your own point of view. For this assignment, it will give you your thesis direction.

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What do I have to include?


The bibliographic information: the title, author, publisher, date, etc.

The annotation: a paragraph, including a general summary of the source followed by how you can fit the work into your paper. Some suggested questions to answer:

Summarize: What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say?

Reflect: How does this fit into your research? Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?
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Can I see an example already??

  • The next page has an example of what YOUR annotated bibliography should look like. Copy this format exactly – use NoodleTools to help you!

Your Name

Mr. Eckert

US History GT

Due Date:

Works Cited

Iriye, Akira. “Hideki Tojo, Comments at Imperial Conference, November 5, 1941.” Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War. Bedford/St. Martin Press, 1999. The excerpt discusses Hideki Tojo’s feelings about withdrawing troops from Manchuria, China in response to US naval expansion and the embargo on oil and aircraft parts. Tojo felt that Japan had invested too much money, time, resources and man power in China to leave at the demand of the United States. This article will be useful in explaining how Japanese pride would prevent them from giving into US demands. If the United States did not drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they may have felt that Japanese leaders would be too proud to surrender. The war, however, was close to being over and the Japanese had suffered many defeats at the hands of the United States, making surrender more of a possibility in 1945.


(Hand-write your topic at the bottom): The United States should/should not have used atomic weapons against Japan in an effort to end WWII.

Created with consultation: HCPSS High School Writing Manual and Style Guide; The OWL at Purdue website


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