Research Help

Library Instruction:
Annotated Webliography Assignment


An annotated Webliography is an ideal assignment for almost any discipline at any level. Combining the format of a traditional annotated bibliography of print sources with the convenience of online resources, the assignment teaches the student to evaluate resources they drawn to use anyway. It bridges the gap between the research and writing processes where students often lose their footing. Studies have shown that:

The Annotated Webliography assignment is designed, therefore, to help eliminate these problems and to help the student navigate the research process more easily and, hopefully, more enjoyably.

The Webliography allows the student to list all sources relevant to the topic which can be used later in a documented essay. The Webliography is then "annotated" (amended with notes, reactions, commentary) so that students can think and write critically about the source material in order to better prepare them for writing the documented essay. In brief, the Annotated Webliography should help students become more comfortable with the research process in general. Even though it appears to add a step to the writing process, it should actually save them time in the long run, since the thinking and writing in this assignment can be used directly in a documented essay.

Instruction for Students

Create an annotated Webliography on .

A Webliography is much like an annotated bibliography which is a collection of sources on a topic, arranged alphabetically by the authors' last names, with a short summary (usually several sentences) that highlights the significance of the document for the purpose of your project.

A Webliography brings together as many on-line resources pertaining to a particular topic as possible. On-line resources such as Web sites, newspapers, magazines, blogs, online encyclopedias, digital archives, catalogs and online databases.

Search the Internet and select at least 10-20 web sites and evaluate them according to specific criteria, writing a short paragraph on each:

Try to include sites from a variety of domains:

Include the citation of each site in your paragraph in accordance with [MLA, APA, etc.] style guidelines; be sure to include the URL of each web site and the date that you consulted it.

Sample entry

American Planning Association, (2009). About the APA. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from American Planning Association web site. The APA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting planning policy and research. The Web site offers valuable resources to non-members. There is an annotated list of APA publications, including Planners Press and Planners Advisory Service reports on sale in the Planners Book Service pages. A click on "Publications" takes you to a page that offers a searchable database of the APA's publications. A search on 'downtown' yielded 20-30 citations; 'revitalization' resulted in a list of publications including some on historic preservation and economic development. Summaries can be viewed. Planning magazine offers one full-text online article from each issue, and the Journal of APA gives a searchable list of citations for its classic articles, and the contents of back issues. Full-text articles from The New Planner, a newsletter written by the student members of APA, are available.

Provided by Michelle Emanuel, Associate Professor, JD Williams Library

Adapted from “The Annotated Webliography Assignment” ( July 12, 2005)