Annotated Bibliography


Annotated Bibliography

This week, you explore annotated bibliographies, which are part of a larger systematic review of literature. The main purpose of the annotated bibliography is to delve into the current knowledge base surrounding a chosen problem. Reviewing the literature and discovering the current state of the research will help to identify gaps in the knowledge or questions not yet answered about the problem. An annotated bibliography is usually your “first look” at the published literature relating to a problem of interest. Annotated bibliographies help identify the all-important research question that needs to be addressed related to that problem. According to the Walden Library, an annotated bibliography combines “a set of notes, comments, or critiques” with “a list of references that helps a reader identify sources of information” (Walden Writing Center, 2012).

What type of information should be included in these notes, comments, and critiques? The annotations should summarize the key information in the article or resource without merely paraphrasing the content. The intent is to provide a succinct analysis of the “why” behind the study you read in the published material. It should be based on your opinion of why the author(s) believed the study was necessary and chose the particular methods of investigation used. Annotations might also include theories and conclusions postulated by the authors. An effective annotation includes the strengths of an article, but even better, the weaknesses or deficiencies as well.

In your final course of the program you will use this annotated bibliography as a springboard for a more thorough literature review. This review will be a more exhaustive compilation of current peer-reviewed studies that reflect the major thinking related to the subject of interest.

For this week’s Assignment, consider the problem or issue in public health or health education that you have selected for your Final Project. Use the Walden Library research databases to explore the published peer-reviewed literature to find related research on this problem or issue for your annotated bibliography. What research questions come to mind related to your chosen health problem or issue? What factors are important when selecting a research question related to an identified health problem? Then review this week’s Learning Resources, which are Walden Library resources on annotated bibliographies and literature reviews.

The Assignment:

Paper (2–3 pages)

Section I

  • Summarize the health problem related to the particular community you identified for your Final Project.
  • Develop a research question related to a problem.
  • Provide a rationale for your selection of this question, along with supporting data.


Section II

Create an annotated bibliography of research related to this problem. In your annotated bibliography, include the following:

  • Six to eight resources on the identified public health problem related to the research question.
  • For each source, write a brief summary of the key points of the study. Include the problem, main research question, study type, and an analysis of the major findings. You may also include any information or notes that you believe are relevant and would be useful to you as you revisit your bibliography later.
  • An explanation of the problem areas and gaps in the existing research revealed by the annotated bibliography.

The majority of the resources should be primary research. Annotations should describe relevancy and timeliness and should indicate whether the research is primary or secondary.


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