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Research Databases for Students: Create a Bibliography

This guide empowers students, parents, and teachers with the tools and resources necessary to complete research or homework assignments utilizing library research databases and library materials effectively

Your Citation is Your Source's Address

 

Your citation is Your Source's Address - Did you know that your teachers will look at your citations to see if you used reliable sources?  Sometimes they will even look up the sources you use to see if you really understand and incorporate the information from that article. When they do that, they will use your citation to find the article, website, or book you used. Your citation will lead them to your information source. 
 

Your Bibliography is Your Paper's Resume

 

Your Bibliography is Your Paper's Resume - Did you know that your teachers will often look at your bibliography first to form an opinion about your paper? Did your information come from reliable sources? Is your information current and without bias or an agenda? OR, did your information come from user-generated sites like Wikipedia or Answers.com? Remember, if you are writing an academic paper, your bibliography should reflect that. 
 

What Exactly is an Annotated Bibliography?

  Annotated Bibliography -  An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes a paragraph following each citation that summarizes or evaluates the source being cited. "Each annotation is generally three to seven sentences long. In some bibliographies, the annotation merely describes the content and scope of the source; in others, the annotation also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose" (Glossary of Research Terms, n.d.). 
 

The Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography

 

The Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography - The primary purpose of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in finding the sources used in the writing of a workDepending on the assignment, an annotated bibligraphy might have different purposes:

  • provide a literature review on a particular subject
  • help formulate a thesis on a subject
  • demonstrate the quality of research that you have done
  • show that you understand each source cited
  • provide examples of the types of sources available
  • describe other items on a topic that may be of interest to the reader
  • explore the subject for further research

Tips

Tips:

  1. Use BibMe.org to keep your research organized and in one place. Adding the link to your source makes it easy to find when you need it.
     
  2. Keep track of your sources as you go. Add them to your working bibliography even if you don't know if you will use them for your assignment. It is much easier to delete a citation than it is to scramble to find a source you used weeks ago and can't remember where you found it.
     
  3. Don't just add sources to add sources. Stop and think about why this information will be helpful to you and if it is current and reliable. 
     
  4. Know your author or source and if they have a bias one way or another on the topic. It's okay if they do, just make sure you understand how that can influence what they write.