Skip to content

Example Of Annotated Bibliography For History Fair Chicago

What is a bibliography?

The bibliography is a list of sources used in research.  It is considered the “footprints” of the project because anyone should be able to use it to find the sources actually used by the researcher. There is a specific format, or style, in which a bibliography should appear.

Which bibliographic style is acceptable in History Fair projects?

History Fair accepts either the Turabian (Chicago Manual of Style) or MLA bibliographic style although Turabian is preferred by historians.  There are a number of online services that will do the formatting–keep in mind, they only work if the correct information has been noted at the point in which it was used!  Take note cards or a bibliography sheet every time research is done so that the information can be immediately noted.

The annotated bibliography should be divided between primary and secondary sources.

What are the books and online services that can be consulted for bibliographic styles?

Use Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations or Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

Online services:

  • Citation Machine
  • NoodleTools – we HIGHLY recommend that History Fair teachers take advantage of this free opportunity.  Register, review the webinar, and you and your students are on your way to stress-free, pro-active, effective research!

What is an annotation?

An annotation summarizes the source and describes how that source was useful to your project.  Keep a working annotated bibliography during the research process because it will be challenging, if not impossible, to try and remember this information once you have finished your project.  Lack of annotations can significantly damage a student’s evaluation in the competition.

Do you have sample annotations?

“The biography described the life of Florence Kelley through the eyes of one of her young co-workers. The author described her as a very determined individual and detailed how she tried to enforce the new Factories and Workshop law and the trouble she had enforcing it.”

“This book contains essays by both BPP members and outsiders, who examine the rise, activities, and fall of the BPP.  It gave me a good idea of the ideology of the party, and some of the underlying reasons for FBI retaliation.

“This article talks about the difference in opinions between different groups of Jews at the NCJW convention and how the NCJW got around the difference and was able to stay successful.  This article was important to my project because it talks about the NCJW’s struggles, and not just how great it was.”

Example Annotated Bibliography

Cornell University Library describes an annotated bibliography as “a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.”Lisa Oppenheim from the Chicago Metro History Education Center notes that annotations for National History Day (NHD) and Chicago Metro History Fair should be around 50 words and not much longer than 75 words. Annotated bibliographies serve one or more of the following functions:

  • describe the content, focus, and relevancy of the source;
  • assess and evaluate the source;
  • explain the usefulness of source to the research;
  • record researcher reactions to the source.

You will need to follow the specific guidelines, including the format (MLA, Turabian, etc.), set by your teacher. In the case of National History Day (NHD), the contest rule book states that the annotated bibliography “must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic.” Review NHD Rule Book rules 16 and 17 copied below.

Rule 16 | Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. List only those sources that contributed to the development of your entry, i.e., sources that provided usable information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. Sources of visual and audio materials and oral interviews must be included. Bundle photos or other materials from the same collection in a single citation. The annotations for each source must explain how you used the source and how it helped you understand your topic. Your annotated bibliography is not included in the word count. For example: Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962. Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This firsthand account was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved.

NOTE: Oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires, and other primary or secondary materials used as sources for your entry should be cited in your bibliography but not included as attachments to your bibliography.

Rule 17 | Separation of Primary and Secondary Sources

You are required to separate your bibliography into two sections: one for primary sources and one for secondary sources.

NOTE: Some sources may be considered as either primary or secondary. Use your annotations to explain your reasoning for classifying any sources that are not clearly primary or secondary. Listing a source under both primary and secondary is inappropriate.

Useful resources

Filed Under: Tech Tips & TutorialsTagged With: annotated bibliography, annotations, bibliography, citations, citing sources, CMHEC, december, nhd, nhd 2015, primary sources, research, secondary sources, TL, TTT, using sources