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AFRS 451: Mass Communication in the African American Community

Course Guide for AFRS 451.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies help organize potential sources prior to being cited in a paper, presentation or project. Once all sources are collected, annotations for each help the author decide where and how to reference the books, articles or other media relevant to the topic. Annotated bibliographies provide the following:

  1. a formatted citation for each source in the required style
  2. a summary of each source 
  3. a personal evaluation of each source
  4. personal notes on where and how each source will be used
Example APA citation from an electronic journal

Milford, S. (2015). Photo identification at the ballot: election protection or voter suppression? Missouri Law Review, 80(1), 297. Retrieved from

ANNOTATION 1: Write your source summary below the formatted citation. You may paraphrase your source according to the particular content that is most useful to your specific research. Your written summary of the work will serve to remind you of why it is (or is not)  meaningful to you in the context of your paper or project.

ANNOTATION 2: Evaluate the source below your summary.  Your evaluation gives you an opportunity to critically analyze the work according to its methods and execution.  Has the author effectively communicated his/her arguments?  Are the arguments supported by data and/or other forms of evidence? Or are there perceivable gaps in logic or unsupported claims?  Are there sufficient citations that lead you to believe the work responsibly integrates the contributions of other experts in the field? 

ANNOTATION 3: If you are citing the source in your paper or project, add notes as to why, where, and how the source will be used. How does the source support your arguments/statements? Is the work appropriate to use in the context of your assignment? If so, what specific parts, data, or statements in the work will you cite? Finally, where in your paper or project will you refer to the work? 

NOTE: There is no singular way to create an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography may include these or other. Always consult with your instructor on what is expected if an annotated bibliography is assigned.

See more on annotated bibliographies at the Online Writing Lab (OWL).

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