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Biology 195F - Phenotypic Plasticity and the Changing World

Creating an Annotated Bibliography


1. Select Topic

Your topic should be neither too broad nor too narrow, but engage with a specific research question. You may not have a thesis yet, but will form one in the course of reading sources. Consider some strategies for selecting and refining a topic. 

2. Locate Sources 

This is a time-consuming process when writing an annotated bibliography. Remember your annotated bibliography should only include peer reviewed sources.  One of the best ways to find this kind of material is Scopus.

3. Read and Evaluate Sources 

Evaluating a source is about more than reading the abstract. You are tasked with finding three different protocols for assessing thermal perfomance.  As you assess potential sources, be sure they can provide you with species studied, protocol temperature range, rate of temperature change, adjustment period (temperature and duration), mechanism of temperature manipulation, and advantages / disadvantages for this protocol.


1. Create Citations 

For Bio 195F, you will be using the Ecology journal citation style.  Your citations should also include a "hanging first line," whereby the first line of the citation sits further to the right on the page with subsequent lines indented. This is a special indentation feature offered in the paragraph formatting section of Word (or other word-processing software).

2. Write Annotations 

Each annotation immediately follows the citation, and consists of a short, evaluative paragraph. For Bio 195F, your annotation should include the elements:

  • Species Studied:

  • Protocol temperature range:

  • Rate of temperature change:

  • “Adjustment period” (temperature and duration):

  • Mechanism of temperature manipulation:

  • Advantages / disadvantages for this protocol



Annotated Citation Example

What about formatting?

Most of the major citation styles call for a hanging first line on annotated bibliographies. This means the first line of the citation will align with the left margin of the page, and all subsequent lines of the citation and annotation will indent to the right.

Example of an Annotated Citation using the Ecology Journal Style

Patra, A., T. Park, M. Kim, and Z. Yu. 2017. Rumen methanogens and mitigation of methane emission by anti-methanogenic compounds and substances. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology 8:13.

This study reviews some of the work to date (2017) identifying ruminal methanogens and the in vivo and in vitro effects of anti-methanogenic compounds. Of specific interest is the summary of evidence suggesting that archaea make up only ~10% of the ruminal microbiome (see "Overview of methanogens present in the rumen"). Also of note, this paper cites work indicating many rumen ciliate protozoa have ecto- and endo-associated methanogenic archaea (see "Methanogens associated with rumen protozoa"). However, most ruminal methanogens are "free-living" (i.e. not protozoa-associated; see "Free-living ruminal methanogens").