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HSS 300 - The United States 1865-1945: Annotated Bibliography

This guide is intended for students enrolled in the second term of U.S. History.

Setting up your annotated bibliography:

What you need to know:

  • Entries are alphabetized by the first word in the citation.
  • If you are writing an annotated bibliography with many sources, it may be helpful to divide the sources into categories. 
  • Not all annotations need to be the same length, longer sources may require more text in an annotation.
  • Use a variety of sources, this can help give you a broader picture of what is being said about your topic.

Elements of an annotation

Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do ONE OR MORE of the following:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Stacks, Geoff, Erin Karper, Dana Bisignani, and Allen Brizee. "Annotated Bibliographies." Purdue Online Writing Lab. Last modified March 10, 2013. Accessed October 10, 2017. 

Sample Chicago Style

This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.

Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998.

Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.

 

Stacks, Geoff, Erin Karper, Dana Bisignani, and Allen Brizee. "Annotated Bibliographies." Purdue Online Writing Lab. Last modified March 10, 2013. Accessed October 10, 2017.