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Annotated Bibliographies: First steps

Learn how to find and organise the most relevant, most useful and most up-to-date sources for your topic

Get hold of the topic

1. SELECT A TOPIC
For an undergraduate assignment: Pick a topic that interests you. Brainstorm or mind map your topic and then try picking a theme or path from your brainstorm that will help you construct a cohesive bibliography of literature about your topic.

For postgraduate students who write their own question: Take note of the above advice for undergraduates. In deciding on the scope of your bibliography, make sure the workload fits your timeframe. Limit the scope of your bibliography so you can demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding your topic.

2. GET A GOOD OVERVIEW - use reference sources to gain background knowledge of your topic
Use a number of good reference sources to get a handle on your topic, and perhaps identify the "classic" books and articles covering the subject. Examples of sources are general and topical dictionaries and encyclopedias, handbooks, research guides and bibliographies. Ask for help in identifying good sources at the InfoHelp Desk.

Suggestion: Take a look at a good encyclopedia, especially one that concentrates on the subject area of your topic. Go to the Reference shelves in the Library, or take a look at Credo, our online, full text, reference library which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations, as well as subject specific titles from art, to literature, to law.

First steps

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