Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Banner Image

The Research Paper: Module 3

Step 3 Directions



From the list of references you provided in Step 2, develop an annotated bibliography.

For each of your reference sources, you will compose a concise annotation (a short paragraph) that summarizes, describes and evaluates the source. 

Include one or more sentences that:

  • Evaluate the authority or background of the author and explain how this work illuminates your research topic.  
  • What are the main arguments?
  • What is the point of this article? 
  • What topics are covered? 
  • If someone asked what this article is about, what would you say?  
  • 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?

Create a reference citation for each source exactly as you would for the reference listing of an APA formatted research paper (this is the bibliography part, which you should have already completed for the Basic Bibliography step.) 

Place the reference citations in alphabetical order.   Each citation will be followed by its annotation (summary paragraph.)

Once you have completed the Annotated Bibliography, you will be prepared to choose the articles that you will actually USE for your research paper.  You must use a minimum of five journal articles.  Remember, if you do not cite a source within the text of your paper, you may not list it on your reference listing! 

Revise your final bibliography into an appropriate reference listing that shows only the sources actually used for this research paper!  



An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.


Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Retrieved from:

Sample Annotated Bibliography

Barthelemy, J., & Geyer, D. (2005). An empirical investigation of IT outsourcing versus
          outsourcing in France and Germany. Information & Management, 42, 533-542.

The authors present an investigation of IT outsourcing based on the combined results of a survey administered to IT firms as well as statistical measures from domestic and French or German firms.  Their data covers a wide range of IT business unit types.  However, the lack of longitudinal data weakens their conclusion that the slower pace of French and German IT outsourcing has had a positive effect on business in those countries long-term.