Annotated Bibliographies

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Students will be able to produce a clear and coherent final draft and annotated bibliography.

Big Idea

A one day crash course in annotated bibliographies.

Annotated Bibliographies Overview

15 minutes

We skipped the journal and daily grammar part again today to give students as much writing time as possible.


Today's mini-lesson was a crash course in bibliographies, of the annotated variety.  Is it perfect? No way.  Was it successful?  For some students.  Do I need to revise this lesson for next year?  There are not enough 'yeses' in the world to answer that question.


Here's what I did, though, flawed as it is. 


I reminded students that the purpose of a bibliography is to let your reader know exactly where you got your information from.  The in-text citations give a hint as to where the information came from but the bibliography has ALL THE INFORMATION or at least, as much information as you can find.  That's the bibliography part.  The annotated part lets your reader know what you learned from that source and how you used it.


I very quickly went through the basic order: author, title, publisher, date, for both a book and a website, since that's where most of their information came from.











I showed them my examples of the annotated part of the bibliography for two of my sources, a book and a website.  I explained that my annotation was essentially two sets of concrete evidence and commentary.  The concrete evidence is what I learned and the commentary is how I used it.  Seriously, this concrete evidence/commentary thing can be used for anything.  That's why it's so brilliant.











I showed them how to use EasyBib to create the citations, copy and paste them into a Word document, and then check for editing.  I showed them my final draft. I pointed out that

  • my citations were in alphabetical order.
  • I used Times New Roman, 12 point font.
  • only the first line of the citation was not indented.


And a word on that third bullet point above.  Did you know that there's a simple way to indent all the other lines, but not the first line?  I had been pushing enter and then using the tab button to do this. My student teacher showed me an even easier way to do it.  If you go into the paragraph part of Word, either by clicking on either of the icons indicated in the picture below.



If you use the top one, you also need to select 'line spacing options.' Once you've opened the paragraph dialogue box, then find the heading "special" and select "hanging." That's it.  It magically indents.  Why didn't I know about this ten years ago?


Boom.  Crash course over.


25 minutes

We then took our field trip to the library, where they logged in to the computers and furiously typed.  My role at this point was to

  • help students format the annotated bibliography.
  • help students figure out where the information for the citations was on websites.
  • answer other questions they had.


Their final drafts are due after the long weekend for both history and English.  


It's over.


I need a nap.


5 minutes

Since we were in the computer lab, I used Edmodo for the closure.  Students could simply log on to Edmodo and write a response to the closure question, which was:


What did the revision process we've done the last two weeks teach you about writing and the writing process? What have you learned about thesis statements? Introductions? Body paragraphs? Conclusions? Any part of the writing process? What do next year's seventh graders need to know about this project?

Lesson Resources

Finish journal

Today's lesson pictures was generated with the help of Wordle.