The quality of the points presented in writing depends on the quality of the source material chosen to include in the writing. An annotated bibliography begins the preliminary research process and serves as an ongoing list of sources that will support your final paper in Week 5. Using scholarly sources helps you with the following:

  • Scholarly sources will give you credible work that your instructors and employers will acknowledge.
  • The skills of paraphrasing and summarizing are foundational for any research writer.
  • The more you strive to understand what another writer is trying to communicate, the more you will be moved to make your voice heard as a writer.


several searches using any of the databases in the University Library.


three scholarly, academic sources from the library search that support the topic you plan to present in your final paper.


a complete summary of the information presented in each article, using your own words.


your analysis of the best use of this information in your paper; for example, how will this information support your comparison-contrast essay.


a possible topic sentence and claim the information will support.


your title page according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines.


your assignment to the Assignment Files tab.

Comparison-Contrast Annotated Bibliography
Center for Writing Excellence © 2009 Apollo Group, Inc. All rights reserved Annotated Bibliography What is an annotated bibliography? An annotated bibliography is a list of cita tions to books, articles, web pages, and other documents. The reference citation is listed firs t and is followed by a brief description. The annotation informs the reader of the rele vance and quality of the sources cited. What is the purpose of the annotated bibliography? In certain classes, you will be asked to write an annotated bibliography, which sounds quite intimidating, but is simply a brief summary of something you have read or consulted during the course of your research on a given subject. The annotated bibliography has a structured format, and the purpose for this is to provide the orga nizational tool you need to keep track of your research and references. The bibliography may se rve a number of purposes: illustrate the quality of research, provide examples, review literature on a particular subject, or provide further exploration of the subject. Provided below is a sample annotated bibliography. Doctoral students should follow the sample annotated bibliography provided in cour ses. This sample annotated bibliography may differ in appearance from formatting requi red in the School of Advanced Studies. Annotated Bibliography Adult education. (2003). In Encyclopaedia Britannica online. Retrieved from This is a good overview article from a well-known, non-specialized encyclopedia that focuses on the various definitions of adult education. A brief history of adult education worldwide is provided, as well as a discussi on on the different modalities and delivery methods of adult education. An in-depth discussion of Britain’s Open University is included. Aslanian, C. B. (2001). Adult students today. New York, NY: The College Board. This is an exceptional resour ce for statistics about adult learners and their motivation for returning to school. The author presents a study spanning 20 years that illustrates Center for Writing Excellence © 2009 Apollo Group, Inc. All rights reserved extensive demographics, including average age, income, travel distance, cost, ethnicity, gender, religion, and field of study. Brookfield, S. (n.d.). Adult learning: An overview. Retrieved from This is an excellent and thorough article c overing four major research areas: self- directed learning, critical reflection, experiential learning, and learning to learn. The author refutes current definitions of adult learning and motivation and proposes instead that culture, ethnicit y, and personality have greater significance than are espoused in the current myths that describe adult learners. This article is interesting to consider in that it diametrically opposes the existing and widely accepted views on the subject. Donaldson, J. F., Graham, S.W., Martindi ll, W., & Bradley, S. (2000, Spring). Adult undergraduate students: How do they define their experiences and their success? Journal of Continuing Higher Education , 48(2) 2-11. Retrieved from The small study confirms current thinking that adults return to school for primarily external reasons, e.g., a major life event or career advancement. The research further illustrates that actual success in learning comes from an internal locus of control that includes life experience, maturit y, motivation, and self-monitoring. Marienau, C. (1999, Spring). Self-assessment at work: Outcome of adult learners’ reflections on practice. American Association for Adult & Continuing Education, 49 (3), 135. Retrieved from As a qualitative study of adults in graduate programs, the study reviews adults’ use of self-assessment and experiential learning from the perspectives of performance at work and personal development. This article is enlight ening in that it explores the benefits to Center for Writing Excellence © 2009 Apollo Group, Inc. All rights reserved the adult learner of self-assessment and introspection. The concept of purposefulness and the need for the adult learner to conn ect learning with concrete experience are discussed. Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S. (2001). Adult learning theories, principles and applications. San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons. This is a textbook used for the training of inst ructors of adult students. Several excellent and pertinent chapters are devoted to the se lf-determination of the adult student and the need for programs to be designed that allo w adults to use their problem-solving skills. Moore, B. L. (1999). A dult student learners. Penn State Pulse Website. Retrieved from This website contained a survey of adult learners’ perceptions of their education experience at Penn State. The study containe d a large survey sample and generally confirmed the findings of other studies at ma jor universities. The important information gleaned is that the emphasis on adult lear ner programs at historically traditional universities is a much higher pr iority due to the increasing population of adult students. Sheldon, K. M., & Houser, M. L. (2001). General motivation for college measure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80 , 152-165. Retrieved from This source is a psychosocial instrument designed to measure adult students’ general motivation for attending college. This instrume nt is appropriate to my research topic because it profiles adult students and rates motivation in terms of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. It supports the findings in my other sources and adds another component: the pursuit of happiness.