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PSY 161: Fundamentals of Psychology: Introduction

Annotated Bibliography Video

Created by Brock University Library

Finding a Topic

Sources for topics:

Make a list of what interests you!

Skim your textbook:  Table of Contents and Index.

Browse through psychology magazines and journals:

     Psychology Today

     Scientific American Mind

See the APA website:

     APA Psychology Topics

     PsycINFO Topic Guides

Browse APA PsycBooks for background information on a topic. (You will need to login.)

     APA PsycBooks

Check out the daily news online for topics related to psychology:








Evaluation 8:00 am class

Evaluation 9:30 am class

What is an Annotated Bibliography?*

Annotated Bibliography:

  • An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of citations to books, articles, and documents on a related topic.
  • Each citation is followed by a brief description and usually includes an evaluative paragraph, the annotation.
  • The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that:

  • evaluate the authority or background of the author,
  • comment on the intended audience,
  • compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
  • explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic

Also see "Questions to Consider" in the right column.

*Reproduced with permission from:  Research & Learning Services - Olin Library, Cornell University Library - Ithaca, NY, USA

Assignment Description

Select a topic:  The annotated bibliography should show understanding and thoughtful reflection on a topic that speaks to the mission and objectives of the course.

Locate references that are academically credible (peer reviewed):  

References may report empirical data (primary sources) or examine theoretical issues (secondary sources).   

Use APA citation style.        


Check with your instructor regarding the following critieria:

     Number of sources

     Number of primary vs. secondary sources

     Date range of sources

     Minimum page length for articles

     Length of annotation




Need Help?

Contact the library:

  • In person
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  • Email:
  • Chat (click on chat icon in lower right corner)



Questions to Consider

  • Who is the audience for the resource?
  • What is the purpose of the resource?
  • What is the tone of the information presented?
  • Scope--what/who does it include?  What/who does it leave out?
  • Relevance of the information, study, findings
  • Is the argument persuasive, informative, controversial?
  • Are the researchers authoritative, qualified to be doing the project? 
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed (scholarly)?
  • Is the information published by a reputable company?
  • Was the methodology explained clearly? Does it fit the study?
  • Were the results plausible?  Were the short-comings of the study discussed?