Project – Annotated bibliography


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Due: End of Week 5

What will you learn from this assignment?

  • How to write an annotated bibliography
  • How to research a social science topic using library databases and credible web sources
  • How to concisely summarize resources
  • How to determine whether a source is credible and/or scholarly
  • How to cite references in APA format

You’ve selected a topic for your Applied Final Project. Now what?

In Part 2, you will be doing the research for your final project and summarizing your findings in an annotated bibliography. In this assignment, you will write 10 summaries (“annotations”) on your chosen topic to prepare you for your final presentation. That is, you will be gathering facts and evidence from credible sources and experts in the field to support your final project topic.

What is an annotation?

An annotation is a summary of a source, including key details and conclusions. It may also include your own analysis about the quality or utility of the work. Annotations should be written in your own words. Do not copy the abstract or use quotations. Annotations should be brief (100 – 300 words) but provide enough detail to help you construct your final project. The more detail you include in your annotation, the less you will have to refer to the original source.

To learn more about APA Style annotated bibliographies, visit:


Step 1: Choose and scan your sources by doing a search on the library’s databases or the internet.

Keep the following criteria in mind:

  • You will need 10 annotations for this assignment.
  • You must use scholarly or credible sources only.
  • All of your annotations should have been published in the past 10 years, and at least 2 must have been published within the past 2 years.

What is a scholarly or credible source?

A scholarly source is one that has been “peer-reviewed” and is usually published by an academic journal. Peer-reviewed means that an article has been reviewed and accepted for publication by a panel of experts in the field. Often, these scholarly articles report the results of social science research studies and will have some or all of the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Methods and Measures, Data Analysis, Results, and Discussion. Scholarly articles contain many citations because the researchers are building upon the work of researchers who came before. Scientists use the work of other researchers to formulate and test new research hypotheses, and in so doing, they slowly and deliberately extend our base of knowledge. This methodical approach to research is the very foundation of science!

Credible sources are those that we can trust to provide original, unbiased, well-supported, and current information on a given topic. Scholarly sources are by their very nature credible. Other credible sources include works written by experts in the field, published documents from well-known research groups (e.g., Pew Research), and reports published by government agencies (e.g., NIH, CDC, Census Bureau, DoD) or other high-level institutions/associations (e.g., Mayo Clinic, APA, AMA).

Inappropriate and non-credible sources would include popular websites (e.g.,,, Wikipedia), social media posts, blog posts, or media outlets (e.g., Fox, MSNBC, WSJ, NY Times, Forbes, etc.). These sources do not always accurately report their findings and are sometimes prone to bias. If a website or article fails to report the credentials of the author and does not provide citations for the information contained in the article, chances are it is not a scholarly source and therefore should not be used.

Articles that were published over a decade ago may also not be credible because there may be more current information available.

For more information, the UMGC Library has more information on how to evaluate your sources available at: You can also learn to distinguish among different types of journals by visiting the following resource:

Step 2: Write your references using APA-7 format in the worksheet provided.

The Annotated Bibliography is attached to the assignment folder.

Before each annotation, write the reference for each source in APA-7 format. You can use these in your reference list for your final project.

Why are APA citations and formatting important?

  • Lend credibility to and support for your ideas
  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Provide consistent formatting and style
  • Reduce the likelihood of plagiarism

For assistance with APA format, visit the UMGC library site at the following links:

Step 3: Write your annotations using the worksheet provided.

Submit a 100-300 word (2-5 paragraph) summary of each article using the worksheet provided. In your own words, identify the key findings of the article. If the article describes a study, explain what was done and what the researchers found as a result of conducting the study. If you wish, you can provide your own analysis of the quality of the work, including any flaws or gaps that you might notice.

Do not simply state what the article was about (e.g., “This article talks about cyberbullying.”). What specific information did you learn from your source that you might want to include in your final presentation? (e.g., “Cyberbullying has become a popular means of abuse among teenagers, affecting about half of all young people.”) These summaries should prove that you have actually read and understood each of your sources in preparation for your final project. Do not quote directly from your source. In accordance with UMGC’s policy on academic integrity, do NOT copy and paste the abstract or any other part of your source! Copied abstracts will not be graded.

Step 4: Identify three details from your source that you may be able to use in your final project.

The annotated bibliography is a useful tool for identifying information that you can carry forward into later assignments. After providing your summary, identify 3 details from each source that you are likely to include in your final project. Again, be specific. This will make it much easier for you to put your final project together.

Step 5: Explain why your sources are scholarly or credible in the worksheet provided.

Review the section above entitled “What is a scholarly or credible source?” In the worksheet, explain why your source should be trusted as a good source for your research project. Note that “using the UMGC databases” is not, by itself, proof of scholarship or credibility because the UMGC library houses many types of media sources.

To establish scholarship and credibility, consider whether your source is peer-reviewed, written by experts in the field (scientists, not journalists), published by impartial organizations, builds on previous work in the field, etc.

Step 6: Submit your worksheet.

Complete and save the worksheet as a .doc or .rtf file and submit as an attachment in the assignment folder. Please do not submit in .pdf format. Submissions that do not use the worksheet will be returned ungraded.

Late policy for annotated bibliographies

Late annotated bibliographies will be accepted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the instructor. Late reports may lose 15 points (10%) for every day the assignment is late.

Annotated Bibliography Worksheet (Actual worksheet includes fields for 10 annotations)

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