Annotated Bibliography Memo
Annotated Bibliography Memo
Step 2 of the senior project is an annotated bibliography, which is a list of sources used in writing a paper, supplemented with descriptive information about the
As you do your reading and research for the annotated bibliography, keep the project proposal memo you created in step 1 nearby (This is the Proposal Memo you
completed for me before). It is a reminder of your central research questions or areas of investigation.
The following information are just tips provided by the professor on which databases may be good to use:
**An excellent resource for getting started on a research project is the Encyclopedia of Communication and Information (2002). You can locate the encyclopedia through
the UMUC library’s Guide to Communication and Journalism Resources.
Go to the UMUC library’s Guide to Communication and Journalism Resources.
In the box labeled “Most Recommended Resources,” select the link labeled “Encyclopedia of Communication and Information.”
Once you have reached the encyclopedia’s website, be sure you select the option to search within “all volumes,” and then enter the search term you want to find. The
search term can be a person or organization you have found in the research for your project proposal memo, the topic of your project, or the name of a theory you are
thinking of using for your project. Use the Encyclopedia of Communication and Information as a source to add to your list of names and organizations, as well as to
A more current encyclopedia is also available through the UMUC library: 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook (2009). This source offers detailed histories
of how ideas have developed and been applied, and the bibliography at the end of each article will lead you to additional sources of good information.
******You MAY use one or two articles from these two encyclopedias in your annotated bibliography to show that you have done the groundwork necessary to understand
You might have read about your research topic in People magazine or the New York Times or heard about it through a link you saw on Facebook directing you to a program
on National Public Radio. Although these kinds of writing are unacceptable for an annotated bibliography, they often give you the names of researchers, organizations,
and recent studies that you can use for your annotated bibliography.
Your best bet is to start with the “Communication & Mass Media Complete” database. Here are the directions to locate it from within the library’s Guide to
Communication and Journalism Resources.
Go to the Research Databases tab in the UMUC library’s Guide to Communication and Journalism Resources.
In the box labeled “Communication Databases,” select the Communication & Mass Media Complete link.
Writing the Annotated Bibliography Memorandum Directions:
Make sure you use the memo format specified by your professor. If your professor does not give you a format, here is a good template for the beginning of your memo:
To: Professor ________________ (full name)
From: Your full name
Date: Current date
Subject: Annotated Bibliography for “Title” of Your Senior Capstone Project
Give your professor information about your project, its importance and relevance, and the purpose of your project for your particular audience. Explain clearly what
you have sought to accomplish through your annotated bibliography—that is, the importance, significance, and relevance of your project.
The References and Annotations
Unless otherwise directed by your professor, put your references (total of 8) in alphabetical order. Use APA citation style to write and format the references. If you
need help with writing APA reference list entries, check the UMUC library’s Citation Resources web page.
The annotations are “notes” about each text that will be useful to your project. Think about including some or all of the following information, based on what will be
useful to you, to show your professor that you understand your project topic:
a brief summary of the text and its main argument/point
how the text contributes to your project—historical, background, related study, counterexample, issue-related information, and so forth
quotes and data from the text that you might use in your paper
why this information is relevant, professional, and reliable
how this text relates to other texts you are including in your annotated bibliography
Analysis of the Bibliography
Although some professors may not ask for a conclusion, think about writing one, at least for yourself. Answer these questions:
What gaps do you still have in your knowledge about the subject of your project?
What can you do and NOT do with your project, now that you know about the research and writing related to your topic?
Review again the research question and scope of the project you wrote in your proposal memorandum (Racial Profiling Proposal assignment you have already completed).
What changes in scope will you make to your project now? Will you, for example, target the executive speech to a different audience? For the technical report, will you
broaden or narrow your focus on the subject of your project? For the magazine article, what do you think your writing will add to this discussion for readers
interested in your topic?
The annotated bibliography is an integral part of the process of writing in the academic and professional worlds. It should give you the grounded base of knowledge you
will need to make wise decisions in your writing and research. Simply put, the annotated bibliography gives you the authority to produce a worthwhile contribution to
the scholarly and professional discussion of a subject.
In the end, it is your creativity and curiosity that will make writing an annotated bibliography a worthwhile step in your senior capstone project.