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Continuing Education / BSOL: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Research Coaches

Contact one of the Research Coaches to schedule an individual or classroom instruction

Savannah Patterson

Public Services Librarian

Phone: 731-661-6544


Jenny Manasco

Instructional Services & Systems Librarian

Phone: 731-661-5058

Anna Poore

Technical Services Librarian

Phone: 731-661-5415


Melissa Moore

Director for Library Services 

Phone: 731-661-5408

Locating Books for an Annotated Bibliography


To find a book on your topic, click on the BOOKS tab above and enter your topic. This will create a keyword search in WorldShare for your topic. Remember that fewer words will return more results, so using "diabetes" will get you far more choices than "insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes in African-Americans." Some of the items may be books, some may be e-books, and some may even be DVDs or articles. Be certain that the item you decide on is a book; you can limit the search results to books by clicking on the box in front of "Book" on the left side of the screen, under "Format." For the Annotated Bibliography assignment, typically you only have to skim parts of the book in order to get a general idea of the author's purpose and main points, which should be enough to write the annotation.

Please Note: These guidelines are necessarily general in nature. Be sure to check your professor's specific requirements for the types of resources you need for the assignment.

Locating Articles for an Annotated Bibliography


To locate articles on your topic, click on the ARTICLES tab above. Think for a moment about your topic. It may be that you can easily use one of the "General Databases" to locate articles on your topic. The General Databases cover a variety of disciplines and contain a great deal of full-text content, though the sheer number of results on many searches can be overwhelming. Or you may feel the need (or be more comfortable) searching a "Subject Database" -- these are typically smaller and return more results. If you want to work within a Subject Database, you will need to first click on your BSOL concentration area.

While every database works differently, they share similarities. Most of our databases have full-text content, which means that the entirety of the article is available in that database. This is particularly helpful if you are searching from home or don't have the flexibility to come in and use our print journal holdings. For those which only have citations, there should be the option of searching our other databases for the full text; typically, under the abstract for the citation there is a link which reads "Find the Full Text of This Article."

Each database also allows you to search in a variety of ways -- for this assignment, you will probably best be served by using the keyword search. Putting a phrase in one search box (e.g. "type 2 diabetes") is a great way to narrow your search and get more precise results. Also think about the assignment -- does publication date matter? Sometimes professors require that your resources be recent, and if that's the case you can limit your results to a certain span of time. Realize too that articles written 10 years ago on diabetes are probably not your best choice, even if your professor hasn't imposed that sort of limit on the assignment.

One other thing to note is whether or not your articles must be scholarly articles, academic articles, or peer-reviewed articles. Each of these phrases mean basically the same thing and it's vital that you know if your professor requires that your articles be scholarly in nature, or if they can be from magazines. Every database will allow you to limit your search to scholarly articles if you need to; some already have the box checked to limit the search, while others do not. Scholarly articles tend to be longer, are written by scholars and researchers, and can include hard-to-decipher language for the non-specialist.

Items included in the databases which would not make good choices for this assignment include book reviews and editorials. These are opinion pieces, and while they can be helpful and informative, they are not adequate for this assignment unless your professor says otherwise.


Please Note: These guidelines are necessarily general in nature. Be sure to check your professor's specific requirements for the types of resources you need for the assignment.

Evaluating Web Pages

Keep in mind that all web pages are not created equal. Think carefully about the web site in all its aspects before you rely on it as a credible source of information.

Citing Your Sources

Click on the CITING SOURCES tab above to see the style manual locations and a link to the online tool at Purdue University, the OWL.

Writing an Annotation

Writing an annotation, or summary and analysis, of a book, article, or website can be challenging for those who have difficulty summarizing content or being concise. Here are some helpful websites.