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ARH102 Art History: Renaissance Through Contemporary Art (Hall)

Research guide designed for ARH102 students with links to library databases, tips for scholarly research, and detailed instruction in producing an annotated bibliography.

Assignment Details

​​​​The Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography: Analyze the usefulness of a source, Help others evaluate the usefulness of the source, Demonstrate the research you have done on a particular subject, Record, summarize, and evaluate the sources you have found, Document the sources used for comparison with later research, Begin to develop a thesis or argument.

(Caption credit: Credo InfoLit Core)


For this assignment, you will create an annotated bibliography, which is a list of resources containing two main elements:

  •  a list of citations of relevant, credible information sources (the bibliography), AND
  • a brief descriptive, critical, and evaluative paragraph following each citation (the annotation). 

For the topic of your annotated bibliography, your instructor has asked you to select an art object from the time period this class studies, which she will approve to ensure it meets the assignment parameters. You will be looking for information that brings greater understanding to the art object in terms of: the culture it came from, the medium it was created in (oil painting, sculpture, wood carving, etc.), the background of art and artists associated with this type of art, and historical events that impacted the creation and representation of the art object.

Your job is to locate, evaluate, cite, and annotate 6 credible, reliable information resources including one each of:

  1.  a reference resource                                      
  2. a scholarly/academic resource (article or book)
  3. a webpage on a website
  4. primary resource #1  (your art object)
  5. primary resource #2 (examples: a similar art object; an interview; a firsthand account)
  6. a 6th and final resource of your choice

Tabs in this guide have been dedicated to defining and helping you locate each of the different information types, including a section that explains the difference between primary and secondary sources.

When writing your annotations, begin each annotation by indicating your source type. For example, when you are citing your art object, you will write PRIMARY SOURCE. When annotating your reference resource, you will write REFERENCE. Following the label, write in your own words a description of the source you chose and how it helps a person understand some facet of the art object you selected to study. How reliable is your source? How in depth is the source? A single source won't answer all questions a person might have about your at object, but how does your source help a person understand a small facet of the art object?


Meet Your Librarian

 I'm your librarian, Karen Reed, and I will be guiding you step by step through finding, evaluating, citing, and annotating resources for this assignment. Questions? Concerns? Need to chat with a librarian? You can email or set up a Google Meet with me by filling out this form.

Are you ready to research and annotate? You know you are!

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All guides are available under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.