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Annotated Bibliography: Before You Start

Resources to assist students in completing the Annotated Bibliography project.

About the Annotated Bibliography Project

Why does Bay State assign annotated bibliographies?

Students in PSY 101 and SOC 101 are required to complete an annotated bibliography project. Annotated bibliographies are used to assess students' ability to articulate a research question, use library resources, evaluate sources, and accurately cite sources in APA format. Although your annotated bibliography will not necessarily turn into a full research paper, the skills you learn through this assignment will help you in future research paper assignments at Bay State.  

Watch this video on annotated bibliographies to get an understanding of what an annotated bibliography is and why we do them.

Carnegie Vincent Library. (2012, April 18). Annotated bibliographies: an illustrated guide [Video]. YouTube

Please go through the PowerPoint presentation below. Then read through the directions on how to complete the Annotated Bibliography. 


Q: Can I use the same Annotated Bibliography for two different classes?

A: No. Doing so would be considered plagiarism. 


Q: I can't find a book on my topic. What do I do?

A: Sometimes students have difficulty finding an entire book that focuses specifically on their research topic. If this is the situation you are in, try finding a book on the broader subject that your question relates to. For example, you might not find any books about the effectiveness of different COVID preventative measures, but you might find some books on pandemic response in the past.


Q: Do my citations go at the end, like a works cited? 

A: No. Your reference entry for each source is placed above your summary, evaluation, and reflection. Look at the sample annotation provided on the "write your annotations" tab.


Q: Do I need to put my citations in APA or MLA format?

A: APA format is what we use in most programs/courses at Bay State. Double-check with your professor. 


Q: Can I use a book or article that I don't have access to? 

A: No. Part of what this project is assessing is your ability to retrieve sources (such as finding a book on the shelf in the library) and to examine the full text of a source in order to evaluate it. Therefore, the full text of a book or article must be used for this assignment.