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Social Work Research Guide

Annotated Bibliographies

See the APA Manual (7h ed.) Section 9.51, page 307, for more information

An annotated bibliography is a student paper where reference list entries are followed by short descriptions of the work, called annotations

  • Annotations should both summarize and assess/critique the source;
  • If annotations are presented as two paragraphs, often the first paragraph will summarize the source and the main points, and the second paragraph will identify the strengths, weaknesses, or evaluate the methods presented;
  • In general, when writing your annotations, you do not need to cite the work being annotated in-text because the origin of the information is clear through the context of the reference located above the annotation. However, you should include in-text citations if you refer to multiple different works within an annotation in order to clarify the source(s); 
  • Your instructor will set out specific requirements, such as number of references to annotate, length and focus of each annotation;
  • Formatting guidelines such as margins, font, and line spacing follow APA Style guidelines, as set out in Chapter 2 of the Manual;
  • Format and order references in an annotated bibliography in alphabetical order, the same as you would order entries in a reference list (sections 9.43-9.44 of the Guide);
  • Each annotation should be a new paragraph below its reference entry;
  • Indent the entire annotation from the left margin, the same as you would a block quotation. Do not indent the first line of the annotation;
  • If the annotation spans multiple paragraphs, indent the first line of the second and any subsequent paragraphs an additional 0.5 in., the same as a block quotation with multiple paragraphs.
Example (as provided in the APA Manual, figure 9.3, page 308)

Workplace Stress: Annotated Bibliography

Barber, L. K., Grawitch, M. J., & Maloney, P. W. (2016). Work-life balance: Contemporary perspectives. In M. J. Grawitch & D. W. Ballard (Eds.), The psychological healthy workplace: Building a win-win environment for organizations and employees (pp. 111-133). American Psychological Association.

This book chapter provides an overview of the psychosociological concept of work-life balance. The authors discuss findings from studies showing harmful effects of work-life conflict on psychological and behavioral health as well as beneficial effects of work-life facilitation, wherein one role makes a positive contribution to the other. The chapter concludes with a description of work-life balance initiatives that organizations have adopted to help employees manage their dual work and nonwork obligations and some of the key factors influencing their effectiveness. 

Carlson, D. S., Thompson, M. J., & Kacmar, K. M. (2019). Double crossed: The spillover and crossover effects of work demands on work outcomes through the family. Journal of Applied Psychology104(2), 214-228.

Carlson et al. (2019) conducted an empirical study to examine the multiple paths through which work and family variables can affect work outcomes. Whereas Barber et al. (2016) explored how work obligations can increase stress or enhance fulfillment at home, Carlson et al. viewed work demands as raising family stress, with potential negative consequences on work performance. Results supported a model in which direct effects of work demands and spillover effects of work demands to work-to-family conflict led to lower job satisfaction and affective commitment, as well as crossover effects of work-to-family conflict, spousal stress transmission, and later family-to-work conflict on organizational citizen ship and absenteeism. Overall, the study demonstrated a link from work demands to work outcomes when considering the family, but those paths differed depending on whether attitudinal or behavioral work outcomes were examined. 

Additional resources:

How to write an annotated bibliography

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