Technical Writing and Communication – ENCS 282
Guidelines for Report on Library Research
In your report on library research, you will review sources available in academic journals, trade
magazines, books, or other resources to provide background for your group’s innovation
proposal. Although the Innovation proposal is a group project, each student in a group will
produce a report containing an annotated bibliography which examines resources about a
specific sub-topic within the purview of the group’s innovation proposal topic.
The goal is to categorize or classify sources by their contributions to understanding the problem
your proposal attempts to solve. In other words, you must review prior work to establish context
and guidance for your subsequent work.
This brief report will take the form of an annotated bibliography. It will include properly cited
summaries of prior work. However, you must go beyond this and take an evaluative stance on
the sources you review. Make linkages between your sources and the research problem and
evaluate how well the sources contribute to a better understanding of the problem.
Sources should be referenced in IEEE format.
Like a standard reference page, an annotated bibliography provides publication information for
your sources. After each citation, however, an annotated bibliography includes additional
information about the source. Annotations begin by summarizing the source’s main ideas.
Depending on the assignment, they may then go on to provide an evaluation of the source’s
credibility and its relevance or usefulness to the larger research project. Annotation length can
vary considerably by assignment; a basic annotation is approximately 200 words.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography provides a brief account of the available research on a given topic. It
is a list of citations, each followed by a short paragraph, called the annotation commenting on
the sources cited. Each entry should consist of the bibliographic information of the resource in
IEEE style followed by an annotation.
Components of an Annotation
Provide a critical summary of the source listed in the reference entry.
Consider S.E.A.R. (Summarize, Evaluate, Assess, and Reflect) when writing your annotation.
• Summarize the main idea of the source (two to four sentences).
• Evaluate and Assess the source for its credibility, objectivity, reliability, and currency.
Compare it to the other sources used in your bibliography (one to two sentences).
• Reflect on the usefulness and relevancy of this source to your topic (one to two
You do not need to provide in-text citations for the work being annotated as the origin of the
source is listed directly above the annotation.
Annotations should be approximately 200 words per entry. The full list of bibliographic entries
should contain at least five credible academic sources.
Length: (1000-1200 words)
Your annotated bibliography will be evaluated on the following criteria:
1) sound organization
2) clear and precise expression
3) logical coherence of your ideas
4) critical thinking and assessment
5) correctness of bibliographic form
This assignment is worth 10% of your mark for this course.
Sample Entry in an Annotated Bibliography
 H. Brink-Roby, “Siren canora: The mermaid and the mythical in late nineteenth-century science, Archives
of Natural History, vol. 35, no. 1, pp.1-14, Apr. 2009, doi: 10.3366/E0260954108000041
In her article about how mythical creatures fit into the discussion of evolution, Heather Brink-Roby presents
the mermaid as the battleground for conflicting responses to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories during
the latter half of the nineteenth century. Some scholars considering Darwin’s work thought the mermaid was
biologically possible because of the extensive biodiversity already recognized at the time, yet Darwin’s
ideological opponents saw representations of mythological creatures as clear evidence of the absurdity of his
claims concerning adaptation and evolution. Brink-Roby’s article is credible because her research includes
sources dating between 1850 and 1900 rather than contemporary sources that only comment on the
scientific culture of the nineteenth century. She includes research from both sides of the debate surrounding
Darwin’s evolutionary theories, and her essay was selected as the 2007 winner of the William T. Stearns
Student Essay Prize from the Society for the History of Natural History and published in a peer-reviewed
publication, The Archives of Natural History . This source will be used to demonstrate the fluidity of scientific
thought and how new evidence contributes to conversations in natural history. The source demonstrates that
while reactions to Darwin based on mythological creatures may seem comical today, such interpretations
represented serious scientific thought in the late nineteenth century.