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PSCI 3205 Undergraduate Research Fellowship: Annotate, Write, & Cite

The Research Process








What is an Annotated Bibliography and Why is it Important?

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

It is an organized, annotated ('with notes') list of resources. It includes all of the books, articles, reports, and other types of resources that you read for your project. In this class, it will be used as a tool to help you organize and stay on track of your research.

Why Wouldn't I Just Copy/Paste the Abstract?

Well for one, you would fail the assignment if you just copy the abstract! But more practically, the abstract of an article or book is just a summary of the contents. For an annotated bibliography, you want to describe the main points and evaluate the content, structure, or conclusions. You may also consider how useful or relevant it is to your research topic.

Why Would I Want an Annotated Bibliography?

You might begin your research in September, but maybe you won't start writing your paper until after Thanksgiving. Will you remember every detail from the articles, reports, and books that you read? If so, then good for you! But most of us need a little reminder. The annotated bibliography is a great tool for you to use during your research.

Annotated Bibliography Elements


  • Key points, conclusions, or recommendations
  • Surprising or interesting findings


  • May include questions related to:
    • Author bias
    • Purpose or Scope
    • Structure
    • Conclusions
    • Methodology
    • Relevance


  • How does this inform my project?
  • Is it useful? If so, what section of my project is it most applicable?

Great Tools to Help You Write Better




Academic Writing  This page provides practical and useful guidance on everything from formatting citations to writing a great introduction






Owl at Purdue - The Online Writing Lab at Purdue is the quintessential resource for citation guidance. Come here for help with your Chicago, MLA, and APA format guidelines.

The UNC Writing Center - This tips and tools website at the UNC Chapel Hill website has loads of information about every aspect of the research and writing process. Of particular note: check out their handouts on plagiarism, annotated bibliographies, and revising drafts

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How to Write an Outline

Elements of the Writing Process

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography helps you keep track of your research as your project becomes more and more complex. Here are a few tips on writing an annotated bibliography: