An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) with short paragraph about each source. An annotated bibliography is sometimes a useful step before drafting a research paper, or it can stand alone as an overview of the research available on a topic.
Each source in the annotated bibliography has a citation - the information a reader needs to find the original source, in a consistent format to make that easier. These consistent formats are called citation styles. The most common citation styles are MLA (Modern Language Association) for humanities, and APA (American Psychological Association) for social sciences.
Annotations are about 4 to 6 sentences long (roughly 150 words), and address:
Annotations versus Abstracts
Many scholarly articles start with an abstract, which is the author's summary of the article to help you decide whether you should read the entire article. This abstract is not the same thing as an annotation. The annotation needs to be in your own words, to explain the relevance of the source to your particular assignment or research question.
Citation Managers are bibliographic management programs that will help you keep track of articles and books as you find them, organize your references and create bibliographies in 100s of citation styles (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.)
They will also allow you to:
The most popular citation managers are EndNote and Zotero. Below are their differences. Remember to always check with your professor if you are not sure.
EndNote - Web version (EndNote Online or EndNote Basic) free to anyone; integrates with MS Word; the Instruction Labs at the University Library have the Cite-While-You-Write plug-in on Word for students to access their EndNote web accounts
Zotero - Free to anyone; integrates with MS Word and/or Google Docs; must be installed on your own computer
Zoterobib- Free to anyone; allows you to create an instant bibliography from your browser on any devices.
|Criteria||Zotero||EndNote and EndNote Web|
EndNote Web: https://www.myendnoteweb.com/
|Web based?||Yes, works with Firefox browser and can sync with online account; connectors for Chrome and Safari available||EndNote is a standalone app but it can transfer library to EndNote Web.|
|Operating System||Windows, Mac, Linux||Windows or MAC|
|Cost||Free for basic account and the standalone app. Some cost for more online storage space||Free for EndNote Web but $$ for the standalone app.|
|Import from databases||Yes||Direct export from specific databases|
|Import citation info from web pages||Yes, also archives the page and you can add annotations||only with EndNote Web bookmarklet|
|Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.)||Yes, with option to attach automatically||Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs|
adapted from American University Library and Penn State University Libraries