Annotated Bibliography Assignment 

This assignment is designed to help you find and evaluate sources of information in the sciences as you conduct your research on Challenging Conversations.   Over the course of the next few weeks you will finalizing a series of interviews that will provide a rationale for where to begin your research.  In addition, we will be discussing theories and other topics in class that can serve as a framework for interpreting your results.  As we discuss topics related to our theme in the next several weeks, it may be useful to keep a list of key ideas and theories to be used later in your subject and keyword searches.

An annotated bibliography includes all of the citation information needed to find a source and a paragraph describing the source.

  1. Find a minimum of 3 sources that might help you with your final paper – these should be your best sources so that means you will likely have reviewed at least 3 times this many
  2. For the three – each must be considered a primary and scholarly source one must come from each discipline specific database
  3. You must print the first page of the database search to demonstrate origin
  4. Citation format is APA and must be used consistently in the assignment
  5. Look for reliable, valid sources that discuss research and use scientific language
  6. As you write your annotated paragraph include both a summary of the source AND an evaluation of the validity of the source and its usefulness.  Paragraphs should be in full sentences.  Length of the entry is often linked with the length of the source.
    1. Summarize the content of the source – be descriptive and specific (think purpose, methods, key findings, etc…)
    2. Evaluate the accuracy and validity of the source
    3. Describe the usefulness of the source to your research
  7. The format should list the citation, then the appropriate paragraph annotation followed by the next citation and annotation.  All entries should be typed and double spaced.
  8. Simply typing or copying material from the abstract will result in a zero for the entire assignment


A copy of your bibliography will be submitted in hard copy in-class as well as uploaded to Isidore.

General guidelines

Some annotations are merely descriptive, summarizing the authors’ qualifications, research methods, and arguments.

Your annotations will also evaluate the quality of scholarship in an article.  You might want to consider the logic of authors’ arguments, and the quality of their evidence.  Your findings can be positive, negative, or mixed.
Sample Page: APA-formatted annotated bibliography

Battle, K. (2007). Child poverty: The evolution and impact of child benefits. In Covell, K., & Howe, R. B. (Eds), A question of commitment: Children’s rights in Canada (pp. 21-44). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Ken Battle draws on his research as an extensively-published policy analyst, and a close study of some government documents, to explain child benefits in Canada.  He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children.  His comparison of Canadian child poverty rates to those in other countries provides a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children from want.  He pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve the criticism it received from politicians and journalists.  He outlines the NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, including its dollar contribution to a typical recipient’s income.  He laments that the Conservative government scaled back the program in favour of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), and clearly explains why it is inferior.  However, Battle relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography.  He could make this work stronger by drawing from the perspectives of others’ analyses.  However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents. This offers context for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada.


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