Teach the Earth > Urban Geology > Teaching Activities > Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

Leslie Davis
Austin Community College. This assignment was developed with a great amount of help from Red Wassenich, ACC research librarian.
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Mar 3, 2008


A bibliography is a list of materials (books, periodical articles, etc.) on a subject. An annotation is a brief description of the material, providing enough information to let the reader know what a source covers and if it is useful. A good way to think of it is as advice to someone who is beginning research on your topic.

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Introductory Environmental Science course Designed for a geophysics course Integrates geophysics into a core course in geology Designed for an introductory geology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Reading and writing at college level

How the activity is situated in the course

Stand-alone research project


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Evaluation of sources/resources.
To gain a detailed understanding of a topic and what current research is being done on it;
To realize the different types of information you can find about it;
To be able to analyze the reliability and usefulness of the sources.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analysis of periodicals, both web-based and print; and write a summary paragraph.

Other skills goals for this activity

The exercise has the students write summary paragraphs; then by having researched and evaluated the articles, they can use one for the article review assignment.

Description of the activity/assignment

Annotations are short and cannot give detailed information, but they should cover these points:
1. The general contents of the work. What does it discuss and how detailed is it? This is the main portion of the annotation.
2. The author's qualifications. Is the writer a trained scholar? A journalist? Someone relating a personal experience?
3. An evaluation of the reliability. Is the information given reliable? Are facts or opinions stressed?
4. The intended audience. Is it for a general reader or a specialist? How much, if any, background knowledge is needed to understand it? Was is easy or difficult to read?

Determining whether students have met the goals

Requirements for the assignment:
1. At least 3 annotations of periodical articles must be done. Otherwise no credit will be given.
2. At least one of these must be from a scholarly journal (as opposed to a popular magazine.) It's OK if all the annotations are from journals. Do not annotate general web sites. Only periodical articles are to be used.
3. The bibliography will receive 5 less points credit if it is not typed.
4. The bibliography will not be accepted if it is plagiarized. Do not copy from the sources themselves. Brief quotes are OK, but use quotation marks. Do not copy from the abstracts. We want your summary of the material.
5. If you use an article from a periodical that is not at ACC, you must attach a Xerox of the first page of the article.
6. Annotate sources that relate to environmental science, in particular to biodiversity.
7. Annotations should be at least 175 words long. Shorter ones may not be accepted.

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