Annotated Bibliography Assignment

An annotated bibliography is a citation and summary of written works that have a theme or topic in common.

1) The First Step is to Choose a Research Question

You should read the assignments for the Annotated Bibliography and the Final Paper before deciding on a research question. Remember that this is a research paper…you must be able to find research-based journal articles on your topic. This means that you should do some research before submitting your research question to make sure that there are enough journal articles on your topic to answer your question. You should make use of the UHD Library’s database search engines. You should do a keyword search on your research question. Some databases you can use are:


Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection

Academic Search Complete

If you absolutely can’t think of a topic on your own, you can look at the topics that have been provided for you in Appendix A.

Even if you use one of these topics, you must still submit your research question (not the topic, an actual research question) to your professor along with at least one article citation (see #2 below).

A well-developed research question guides a focused search for scientific evidence about a defined topic area. Without a well-defined research question, you may search for wrong, irrelevant, or unnecessary information on your topic. All well-defined research questions have the following qualities:

It clearly defines the variables under consideration.
It specifies the population being studied.

It implies the possibility of empirical study/testing.

Note that this is different from a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables that suggests and answer to the research question.
Your research question should be in the form of a question. However, it should not be a yes/no question (it should not start with Is/Are), and it should also follow these guidelines:

i) Not too broad
ii) Not too narrow

iii) Interesting

iv) Should lead directly to a hypothesis (you will be asked to form a hypothesis for the final paper).

2) Submit your research question to your professor for approval by the due date listed on the syllabus. Your research question must be accompanied by at least one article citation that shows that there are peer-reviewed resources available that directly address your research question. In other words, you must show that you have researched your topic and that it is a viable topic when you submit your research question to your professor.

Example of your email to your professor:

“Hello Professor! My proposed research question is: How does a parent’s self-efficacy relate to their parenting behaviors?

Sample research article about this topic: Coleman, P. K., & Karraker, K. (2000). Parenting self-efficacy: A review of the literature and future directions. Family Relations, 49(1), 13–25.

3) How to Do an Annotated Bibliography

Locate 10 journal articles that have specific relevance to your topic. These articles must be from peer-reviewed publications. You may not use any magazine, webpage, blog, Psychology Today, Wikipedia, newspaper article or any other source that is not a peer-reviewed journal article. You should focus on how both your topic and your variables have been addressed in the literature.

You should use one of the database search engines provided by the UHD library. You should do a keyword search and narrow from there. I recommend:


Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection

Academic Search Complete

You may have to review/skim many articles (i.e., more than 10) before finding the 10 articles that are most pertinent to your topic and will be used in your final annotated bibliography.
You must ask yourself, “What is the importance of this article to what I am studying?” and “What interesting information does this article give me that I can use in my paper?” If you can’t answer these questions, then you should not include the article.

Cite the article using APA style.
Write the annotation (summary) of the article

Your annotation should follow the main parts of a research article—Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion.

Introduction: Write one or two sentences that address the research topic/purpose of the paper and any specific hypotheses that are being tested.
Method: Write one or two sentences that state how many participants, any important characteristics of the participants, and what materials/procedures were used.

Results: Write one to three sentences that present results for the research question/hypothesis presented in “i” above. In other words, the introduction presented one or more questions, now you give the answers to the questions.

Discussion: Write one or two sentences that present the implications and importance of the results.

Please note that you may not use the abstract or any part thereof as your annotation (summary). Anyone who includes all or part of an abstract in their annotated bibliography will receive zero points for the assignment and possibly a failing grade in the class.

Sample annotation #1
Garst, J., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (1997). Advertising’s effects on men’s gender role attitudes. Sex Roles, 36(9-10), 551-572.
The authors in this article examine whether media images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after being exposed to the images. The study examined males between the ages of 17 and 46. The men observed male models in magazine ads that portrayed traditionally masculine vs. androgynous images, and men of different ages. The results suggest that men’s gender role attitudes can be influence by the images of men they regularly see in the mass media. The authors conclude that, nontraditional men’s gender role attitudes may be unstable and susceptible to momentary influences.

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