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NoodleTools How-to Guide: What Does it Mean to Include Annotations?

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My teacher has asked me to include annotations. What does that mean?


A list of sources that contains a summary or assessment of each source is generically called an annotated bibliography. Annotations can range from a short phrase or sentence description to a paragraph which analyzes and critically compares it it to other sources in the list.

See: How to Add or Edit an Annotation

All citation forms in NoodleTools end with an Annotation field so that you can create descriptive or evaluative comments for each citation. When the Annotation field is filled in, the text is added at the end of the citation (indented and styled properly according to the citation style).

A descriptive annotation summarizes the content (e.g., the main idea, content, and plot) and explains its value to your research. When relevant to your research, concisely include the following information:

  • What is the scope of this source? Is it an overview, a manual, a critical analysis of one point of view, an in-depth explanation of a phenomenon?
  • How is the time and place of this publication relevant? Is it a primary source (e.g., written by an observer of events, a report of the author’s original research)?
  • Why are the author's credentials or expertise related to my research topic? What is the author’s reputation among other experts?
  • What is the purpose of this source? Is the author's intention to persuade, to inform, to analyze, to inform, or to argue for a point-of-view?
  • What is the writing genre and format? Is it an essay, a Web page, a peer-reviewed journal article, a reference work, a blog entry, a video clip? Are there distinctive design features that enhance the communication?
  • What knowledge level is expected of the reader? Has it been written for a general reader, a scientist, a high school student, an instructor? Is the writing style and information appropriate to that audience?
  • How did it help you understand your topic? How did you use it? Did its bibliography lead you to new sources?

A critical annotation includes a description (see above), then evaluates the quality of your source related to others and the value of its information to your research.

  • What is missing or questionable?
  • Is there evidence of bias or distortion?
  • Are there errors or weaknesses?
  • How does this source fit with or compare to other sources used?

If you add annotations, you may wish to add the word "Annotated" to your source list title. To change the title, go to Print/Export > Formatting Options, open the "List Title" section, and enter the word in the "Custom header" field.

My teacher has asked me to include annotations - what does that mean?

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