For this Assignment, you will write an annotated bibliography using a minimum of three different peer-reviewed research articles from the Library. To help you get started, you can use any of the studies already shared with the class on Discussion Boards and in Seminars, if they are appropriate. It is recommended that all of these articles be related to the topic that you will be doing your research proposal on: the articles annotated here can be those used as part of the background material in the research proposal. Be sure to choose actual scientific research studies (not meta-analyses, opinion pieces, or literature reviews on a topic) that provide for a different perspective on your topic.
An annotated bibliography includes a listing of citations for each different source of information, with each citation followed by a brief description of the study and a critical analysis of the research. The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to help the researcher make sense of the many and sometimes contradictory results provided by the various sources. Most researchers group the different studies together by topic or theme in order to see if a particular pattern emerges. Hopefully, you will begin to see this in your own bibliographies.
Upon completion, an annotated bibliography helps the writer gain an understanding of the entire body of research on a particular subject (i.e., not just one study). In other words, putting together an annotated bibliography helps you to get a broader sense of the results of many different studies on the same subject. In addition, an idea of how the different studies connect to one another and the important themes that are related to a topic often emerge in this process. This is an important first step to take when attempting to develop quality research questions and hypotheses.
- Select a minimum of three (no more than five) different research reports on a relevant topic of interest in the field of psychology. Make sure to use scholarly sources in your bibliography (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, specific research studies reported in academic books, etc.). In addition, make sure that the sources are current (published within the last five years).
- At the beginning of the Assignment, you should include a statement (one or two sentences) indicating what topic or concept connects the articles summarized. The research question or hypothesis that you are going to use for the research proposal would be an excellent thing to include here.
- Start off each entry in the annotated bibliography with the full text citation for each study in boldface. Be sure to list the different sources in alphabetical order, as one would do in a references section for a paper.
- Immediately after each full text citation, summarize the following details from the cited source:
- A brief description of the research questions and hypotheses
- The method and any criticisms the student has of the method
- The results
- The conclusions made by the authors and any concerns that the student may have regarding these conclusions
- A critical analysis of the quality and credibility of the study and author(s)
- How this study connects to or contrasts with other studies on this subject (especially those other articles in your annotated bibliography)
- An explanation of how this study will shed new light on the student’s topic
- Make sure to provide enough details for the reader to get a clear sense of the study. Ideally, students will have two “paragraphs:” the first covering the first four bullet points above, the second covering the remaining three.
- After the three to five articles have been listed and annotated, end the Assignment with a couple of paragraphs describing how the process of putting together an annotated bibliography helps researchers to develop quality research questions and hypotheses.