Annotated Bibliography

General Guidelines

  • Sources should be less than 5 years old.
  • Paper will be submitted through plagiarism tool:
  • What phenomenon or clinical problem is of personal interest to you and needs research data for you to determine how to most effectively intervene? Pain in hospitalized patients
  • Is there a patient population of specific interest in which you would like to study this phenomenon or clinical problem? Adult population 

Annotated Bibliography.

Determine what theoretical frameworks have been used with your phenomenon of interest/population.  Your phenomenon of interest could be a disorder or condition (Pain). Your target population (Hospitalized Patients). Intervention: Music Therapy

Clinical Problem: Pain in hospitalized patients.

First, complete a computerized literature search about your phenomenon of interest and search for a theory appropriate for your phenomenon of interest to determine what articles you will use for your bibliography.  Look for articles about your target population from scientific, peer reviewed, research journals from a variety of disciplines.  You need to look for primary sources which is an article written by the researcher or theorist.  Do not include literature reviews or meta-analyses in your annotations as these are secondary sources. However, if you look in the reference section of a literature review or meta-analysis, you will find many primary sources

Second.  Analyze the literature to determine what theories have been used to study your phenomenon. The analysis is done via 10 citations.  Each citation is followed by your annotation of that citation. 

Third.  Synthesize/summarize what you have found.  Were theoretical frameworks used at all?  If no, what would you suggest?  If yes, what theoretical frameworks were used and why?  What theoretical frameworks were not appropriate and why?  Include statements in your synthesis/summary to answer these questions.  A synthesis/summary example is illustrated below at ***.

Your annotated bibliography assignment has no page limit but annotations should be brief.  Each is “a note” for you to summarize each article for yourself.   Your annotation will contain information similar to the abstract of an article.  Utilize information from the abstract and the entire article to complete the annotation as described under “c” below.  All or your annotations must be primary sources.

Examples (see *) to assist you are illustrated below.   (Percentages–%–show grading rubric for assignment. 

a. Title page—expected—1 point off if no title page.
b. One introductory paragraph to describe your area of interest (should be reflected in the selections in your annotated bibliography)—10% See * an example below.
c. Ten primary references (10) followed by a one paragraph “annotation”. Start with the number 1 and give a complete reference for each article in APA format except that you will number each reference and do not need to indent the 2nd line.  Label each reference in order, number 2, etc. Your annotation may be similar to the abstract of an article.  You must not copy the abstract but “shorten” or “lengthen” your annotation with the headings listed below.  Following each reference, write a one paragraph summary of each article to include the following information which might be bolded in your annotation. 


Background/purpose/research question

Theoretical framework (if there is one)

Methods–to include research design, sample/participants, instruments



Conclusions/application to practice

Five points per reference and annotation or 50% of your grade.

d. After you have completed ten annotations, write a one or two paragraph synthesis (summary) of your findings (Important:  35% of your grade for this assignment–difficult).  Address the strengths and weaknesses of the theoretical frameworks in general and in relation to your phenomenon of interest/target population.  The principles from Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya (2013, p. 53) may assist you to evaluate the usefulness of nursing theories.  These one or two paragraphs are an important but challenging part of the assignment.  REPEAT.  You will synthesize information from the ten articles. You will use information from this annotated bibliography for your final paper.    See *** below. *** 35%
e. Do not add a reference page since you have already provided a reference prior to each annotation. To help you your professor has given you examples–below–which are fiction (not true).

*Example of an introductory paragraph 10% for this assignment .

This student’s phenomenon of interest is HIV prevention in African-American teens guided by either a nursing health promotion or health belief model/theory.  A literature review was conducted to search for research investigating HIV prevention in general and specifically focused on African-American teens. This student also searched for theory-driven research about African-American teen issues irrespective of the phenomenon of interest.  This student investigated articles that included both nursing theories and theories borrowed from other disciplines that guided research about African-American teens and HIV knowledge.
**Example of one annotation follows. Note the bolded information to help your reader/professor and guide you, the student, to learn the required elements.

  1. Wood, E. & Block, S. (2015).  Teens’ perceptions about HIV prevention:  A          phenomenological approach. Annals of Nursing Science, 14(3), 145-158.

            The background of the study relates to teens and HIV prevention.  The research question was “What are teens’ perceptions about HIV prevention?” Researchers used no theory. Methods. A qualitative phenomenological design guided researchers during one 45 minute tape-recorded 1:1 interview with a convenience sample(participants) of African-American teens. Interviews were conducted either before or after school. Participants were given a $50 gift certificate from a local healthy foods grocery in a nearby neighborhood as an incentive for participation. Three researchers analyzed interviews by constant comparison methods.  Results. Twenty-five teens, ages 15-18, participated during the year long investigation. Three major themes emerged from analysis of the interviews: looking for acceptance through sex; ignorance/denial of risky sex behaviors and living in the moment.  Strengths of the study were the identification of teens’ perceptions regarding risky sexual activities. Limitations were difficulties in recruiting due to suspicions of teens about outsiders/researchers and self-selection of participants.  Conclusions/applications for practice. Multiple interventions are needed to provide teen-friendly information regarding HIV prevention.  Such information may be included in school health promotion curricula at all levels of high school.  

***Example of a summary of the ten articles follows.  Submit ONE summary for all articles reviewed.  Note that this one or two paragraph summary counts 35% of your grade on the assignment as you will synthesize information from all the articles you reviewed. 

In HIV prevention research with African-American teens, four studies used theories which were: 1) the health belief model, 2) health promotion model, 3) self-efficacy theory, and 4) goal attainment theory.  Findings were mixed regarding the support for theories. No one theory has been found to be particularly effective with African-American teens.  In the 10 studies reviewed, six studies had no theoretical framework.  Among these six, there were two qualitative studies about HIV prevention in African-American teens with no theory.  However, theory guided research is not often used nor appropriate in qualitative studies.  Additional studies are needed in which researchers use theory-driven research to promote health with an African-American teen population regardless of the phenomenon of interest. Additional reviews of literature regarding African-American teen health might uncover more theory-drive research.

Summary/Grading rubric for the annotated bibliography assignment.  A title page is expected for all assignments.

Introduction = 10%

Complete references  and annotation of each article.  50% (5 points each).

A one or two paragraph synthesis of the information with emphasis on the theoretical frameworks as related to the phenomenon/population of interest = 35%

Total format, APA, English e. g., sentence structure = 5% 

Total = 100% and 25% of total grade.