Annotated Bibliographies Instructions

CRIJ 5337

Drugs, Crime, and Social Policy

Annotated Bibliographies Instructions

             Every week in this course you are expected to write 3 annotated bibliographies. Two of these must be over two of the assigned readings. One of these must be over a source that you have located yourself. This third reading must be either 1) be cited in one of the assigned readings for the week or 2) cite one of the assigned readings for the week. Instructions on how to locate outside sources are included below. Each annotated bibliography is worth 10 points. Annotated bibliographies will be turned in on Blackboard exclusively—I will accept no paper copies!!!

There are no annotated bibliographies due on 1/20/20.

Page length

Each annotated bibliography must be 2-3 pages long


All annotated bibliographies must adhere to the following format:

  • Double-spaced
  • Times New-Roman or Calibri font
  • 12 point font size
  • One inch margins (“normal” in Microsoft Word)
  • No cover page necessary
  • No headers or footers necessary
  • No headings necessary

Each annotated bibliography must include your name in the upper left hand corner of the first page.

Each annotated bibliography must include a bibliographic reference (i.e., like how you would cite the source in a reference page) in APA format at the top of the first page.


Your annotated bibliography must include two sections.

  1. Section one will consist of a summary of the article in question. This summary must include:
  2. The topic covered in the article
  • The main arguments or contribution of the study
  • How the authors conceptualize the primary concepts in the study
  • The methodology informing the study
    • Where did the authors get their data?
    • How did they collect it?
    • How did they analyze it?
  • What are the conclusions or discussion points in the article? In other words, what do the authors say about how the study contributes to the existing literature?
  • Section two will consist of your critical assessment of the article in question. This assessment should some or all of the following:
  • What were some limitations of the study?
    • In what ways did the data they collect limit or hinder the authors’ abilities to answer their research question(s)?
    • How might their findings have differed had they collected data from a different sample?
    • How or in what way do you think they effectively or ineffectively conceptualized the primary concepts in the study?
    • How might their findings have differed if they had conceptualized the primary concepts in a different way?
  • How are the findings and/or arguments of the study similar or dissimilar to those of the other articles you read for this week, this semester, or outside of this class?
  • Are there other theoretical frameworks that you are aware of that could be applied to the study that the authors did not incorporate into the article? Explain.
  • Do you agree or disagree with their conclusions? Here I do not want your opinion unless you back it up with other sources or with a substantive argument based on your criticisms of their conceptualization, operationalization, analysis, or theoretical framework.


Your annotated bibliography will be graded with the following criteria:

  • Summary: 4 points
    • Full credit for meeting all the above criteria
  • Critical Assessment: 4 points
    • Full credit for critically engaging with the work. You do not have to hit all of the points mentioned above. I just need to see that you have thoroughly thought about the article along one or more of those points and have defended your argument with other literature or a critical assessment of the authors’ sample and/or methods.
  • Writing and formatting: 2 points
    • Full credit for no or few grammatical or typographical errors.
    • Full credit for adhering to formatting guidelines
  • Page length
    • Bibliographies not meeting the page requirements (i.e., 2-3 pages) will have 3 points deducted from the total grade for less than 2 pages but more than 1 page and 5 points deducted for 1 or less pages.

How to find outside sources

To find a source cited in an assigned article/chapter:

  • If, while reading, you see a section or a passage that interests you, note the citation at the end of the sentence.
    • Look this citation up in the reference page of the article/chapter.
    • Click on the pdf link on the right, download, and proceed with the above steps

To find a source that cites an assigned article/chapter:

  • Go to Google Scholar and type in the name of the assigned article or book (if doing this from home, you will need to connect through the UTEP VPN first [go here for instructions on how to set this up: ])
  • Click on the “cited by …” link underneath the article description
  • Click on the pdf link on the right, download, and proceed with the above steps
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