Extended Essay: Annotated Bibilographies

Research Process

Research Process

Congratulations! In the wilds of Extended Essay, you are in the thick of it. Having moved through the Pre-Search stage (Deciding your Topic, Figuring out what you need to know,  Developing your Research Question) you are now deep into the Research stage.

This means finding, organizing, and evaluating your resources. It also means your Annotated Bibliography is due on April 16th.

What is an annotated bibliography? 

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, a “bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources.”

In three to five sentences, the annotations in your bibliography should

  • Summarize: In one to two sentences, detail the main arguments, the topics covered, the overall point of this resource.
  • Assess: In one to two sentences, evaluate the reliability, usefulness, and bias of this source.  Think about the goal of the writers of this resource. Keep the C.R.A.A.P. method in mind when assessing your resource.  
  • Reflect: In one sentence, describe how this resource fits into your research: What is it helpful? How does it shape your argument? How has it impacted your thoughts on your topic?  What questions do you have now? 

Sample Annotated Bibliographies

Creating and Sharing your Annotated Bibliography – Your annotated bibliography needs to be a in a digital format you can share with your supervisor, Mr. Rancic and Ms. Katy. You must use one of the two options below.  If you don’t know how to use these tools, see Ms. Katy during Extended Essay Office Hours on mondays at 3:00 in the secondary library.

  • NoodleTools – This is a student research platform with Integrated tools for note-takingoutliningcitationdocument archiving/annotation, and collaborative research and writing.
  • Google Docs – Create a Document online using Google Drive.  This requires an account with Google. 

Social Media & The News: How Do We Know What Is True?

Anytime you venture out into the World Wide Web, it can be tough to determine what and who you can believe.  Is Kim Jong-Un the sexiest man alive? Was a photo of a tourist recovered from the rubble of the World Trade center after 9-11?

Watch this TED Talk by Markham Nolan on how to separate fact and fiction online.

Having looked at these examples and watched this talk, what advice would you give to someone who needs to know how to you separate fact from fiction, online or in “real life”?

Traditional Mass Media vs. Alternative New Sources

While this post is intended for the Year 12 Core TOK class, the information is relevant to anyone who wants to look for alternatives to news which comes from media organizations supported by major corporations.

Last class, we each chose a current event to follow and selected one story from a traditional news source (newspaper, television news show, radio news).  This class, you will

  • find out who owns that news source using Columbia Journalism Review’s Who Owns What resource.
  • find an alternative news source story on the same current event
  • compare and contrast the traditional and alternative news stories on your current event.  Think about tone, style, and content.

You may use one of the alternative news sources below or choose one of your own.

Guides to Alternative News Sources


Alternative News Sources (a Small Sampling)


Please post your comparison as a comment to this blog post. Include the links to both news stories in your response.

Do you have an alternative news source you like? Share it in the comments below!