Annotated Bibliography
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Last Updated: Feb 23, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Annotated Bibliography Print Page



An annotated bibliography is a great tool to use during the research process to help you summarize and evaluate the sources you have collected.  An annotated bibliography generally consists of two main components: a bibliographic entry for each source and a short summary of the main ideas in each source and their relevance to your project.  Your summary is a description and an evaluation of your source.   The purpose is to inform your reader of the relevance and quality of the sources you are citing.


Creating an annotated bibliography requires concise writing, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Second, cite the book, article, or document using CMS style.

Third, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme of your source.  Include:

·         A paraphrase of the thesis and explanation of topic or issue

·         A Summary of the analysis, reasoning and/or evidence used

·         Commentary (evaluation) of the author's credibility (objectivity, use of evidence, bias, poor reasoning, fallacies)

·         2-3 sentences explaining how this source will be utilized in your own research process and paper


Duus, Peter, ed.  The Japanese Discovery of American: A Brief History with Documents.  Boston: Bedford Books, 1997.

This book explores the relationship the relationship between Japan and the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, focusing on the dramatic differences between the two culture and the uneasiness, confusion, and misunderstandings that arose from those differences.  In a short introductory history, Duss discusses Japanese isolationism, the military and economic factors that led the United States to forcefully open relations with Japan, and the ways in which the Japanese observed and interpreted Americans and their culture.  The main body of the text comprises a series of documents, including political pamphlets, autobiographies, eyewitness accounts, broadsheets, and prints.  The inclusion of both Japanese and American views of Japan invites a comparison of mutual misunderstandings.

source: A Pocket Guide to Writing in History by Mary Lynn Rampolla, 4th edition


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