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The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


American Indian Environmentalism: Bibliographic Style and EndNote

A resource guide for American Indian Environmentalism.

Bibliographic Style

What is a bibliographic style? When professors assign a term paper, they usually expect you to provide a list of the sources you consulted in writing the paper. They may also expect you to cite your sources at the point in your paper where you refer to them, either as a footnote or an in-text citation. They will expect you to provide a bibliography or works cited list at the end of the paper.

In order to recognize what it is you've cited, whether it is a book, a magazine article, or a newspaper article, they expect your citations to be in a standard format. Sometimes the professor will tell you which style to use. Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) are two popular styles used on campus, but there are others. Other times you are free to pick the bibliographic style, as long as you use it consistently.

If you are not already familiar with a particular bibliographic style, it can be frustrating to learn. Hopefully the guides and other tools below will help ease that frustration. Besides the items listed below, see also the Books tab at the top of this page, where we've listed some style guides, both print and e-books, available in the UI Libraries.

Citation Formats. A guide from UI Libraries with examples of the most common citation forms for APA, Chicago and MLA styles.

APA Style Assistance.

EasyBib. An automated citation generator on the web. Free if using MLA style.

EndNote Basic. A web-based citation management and bibliography tool. UI students can register for a free account.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). A great site with tutorials, exercises and examples of APA and MLA style.

University of Iowa Writing Center. Schedule an appointment with a tutor for help with your writing project.



Documenting / Citing Your Research

Information sources always need to be properly cited in your work within the paper and at the end. Find out which citation standard your professor wants you to use (Chicago, APA, MLA) and use online and print guides to help you format each citation. 

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

  • An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents.
  • Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.
  • The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

  • Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes.
  • Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

The Process

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

  • locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic.
  • briefly examine and review the actual items.
  • choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  • cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
  • write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that
    • evaluate the authority or background of the author,
    • comment on the intended audience,
    • compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
    • explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Sample annotated bibliography entry for a journal article

The following example uses the APA format for the journal citation:

Goldschneider, F. K., Waite, L. J., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51(4), 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

From: McCain Library

Additional Citation help


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EndNote Desktop Windows