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HIST 2950 - Making of Modern Europe from the French Revolution to WW2: Writing and Citing

Acceptable citation formats

Any consistent citation format is acceptable, but Dr. Karthas prefers one of these two:

Free Citation Formatting Tools

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of primary and secondary historical sources surrounding a historical topic. Each entry in the bibliography contains a formal citation of the work, as you would use to cite it when writing a paper, followed by an annotation of perhaps 3-5 sentences which describes and explains the significance of the source to the topic/your understanding of it. Creating an annotated bibliography shows that you have read your sources carefully and have a good sense of how they relate to your topic and to one another.

First Steps

  • Identify and gather the sources that you will use.
  • Read each source and take some general notes on it.
  • Notes will take a different form for primary and secondary sources, and you may list primary sources separately from secondary sources in your annotated bibliography.
  • Make sure that you know how to cite sources in your bibliography correctly. A tool like Zbib (ZoteroBib) can help.

Format of the Annotated Bibliography:

  • Each source is listed in correct bibliographic form.
  • Sources are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Primary sources are often listed in a separate section from secondary sources.
  • Each source is followed by a 3-5 sentence annotation.

What to Include in the Annotation (Secondary sources)

  • A sentence or two on the general topic or research question that the work addresses.
  • A sentence or two on the thesis or argument of the work.
  • A sentence on the author's methodology: What kinds of sources are used? Is it a case study or an overview of scholarship on the subject?
  • A sentence on how this source is relevant to your paper topic, or how it makes sense of/adds context to some aspect of your primary source or its author

What to Include in the Annotation (Primary Sources)

  • A sentence or two about the source's author (individual or corporate/institutional)
  • A sentence or two about the original purpose and/or audience of the source; it may be relevant to mention if the source is part of a larger collection of similar material.
  • A sentence summarizing the content and tone of the source.
  • A sentence noting information that requires contextualization through secondary sources to understand

Examples