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BIOL 3030: Genetics and Society: Annotated Bibliography Tips


About the annoted bibliography

  • An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that contains both the bibliographic information for a source (the citation) and a summary, evaluation, and/or reflection on the source.
  • An annotated bibliography can help you keep track of the many sources you'll be using in a research paper or project and even help you write or create your final project!
  • To see some examples of what annotations can look like, check out the library's Annotated Bibliography Guide. It has a bit more explanation of what an annotated bibliography may look like, some explanation of the differences between summary, evaluation, and reflection, and how an annotated bibliography can help you create your final research product.

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating sources goes beyond the distinction between scholarly and popular. You must also evaluate your sources based on relevancy. Watch this video and check out the library's evaluating sources tutorial for more tips!

Reading the Scientific Literature

Reading a scientific paper isn't like reading a book.  Hint:  Don't try to read it straight through from beginning to end!

Here are some tips to help you become skilled:

Primary vs. Secondary Research

In addition to distinguishing between popular and scholarly articles, you need to be able to understand if the scholarly articles you are reading are reporting primary research or secondary research.

Primary research articles report original research and results.  You will see the data and work that the authors produced. A primary source is an article that reports this.  Other primary sources can include documents such as diaries and scrapbooks, photographs, and eyewitness accounts.

Secondary research often summarizes the work of many primary research studies.  In the sciences, a common example of this is a review article.  Review articles report and analyze the results of primary research articles, but don't report any new information.