What is an Annotated Webliography?

An annotated webliography is very similar to an annotated bibliography which you completed in Week 4 of this course. Instead of reviewing and analyzing books and articles, this assignment requires students to review websites pertaining to a particular topic. Each website description will follow a similar format as your annotated bibliography. Websites will be evaluated for content, accuracy, bias, relevance, and significance to your chosen topic.

Your topic is an extension of your annotated bibliography topic, which went through 1500. So your annotated webliography should cover the same topic from 1500 to the present.

There is a great deal of information available on the internet and you can do a lot of research from your computer. However, not everything on the web is acceptable for academic research. This assignment will help you evaluate sites that you find on the free web.

Before you start your paper, please make sure to read the UMGC Library guidelines for evaluating web resources to help determine whether the contents are of high quality and acceptable for use in a college-level history research paper:

Assignment Instructions

For this assignment, you will search for five (5) websites that are acceptable for use in a college-level history research paper. UMGC library databases (for example JSTOR or other journal databases) are not allowed for this assignment because we worked with them in the Annotated Bibliography. We know that JSTOR, etc., are credible. The Webliography is designed to push you further into the internet to do the hard work of determining degrees of credibility.

Wikipedia,,,, or any other encyclopedia or wiki-type site like are NOT acceptable, sites that require a subscription are additionally NOT acceptable. Write a paragraph for each website (five total approximately 200-250 words each) in which you describe the contents of each website in detail, and why you think the site is acceptable for use in an academic research paper, using the information you collected from your evaluation of the site. Look for archives, museums, libraries, and foundations.

Complete the following for your annotated webliography:

Provide a complete citation (as you would include it in your bibliography) for the site, including the URL and your date of access. Note that the required style for this class is Chicago Manual of Style.

For an example of what elements to include in your citation, go to and click on Web Sites. You can also click on Course Resources, click on Webliography, and find examples of how to properly cite websites using the Chicago Manual of Style.

Do not use citation generators for Chicago. Virtually all of them place the year incorrectly.

Use the evaluation criteria provided by UMGC Information and Library Services to determine if the site is appropriate for college-level academic research (i.e. a college-level history research paper).

These are the specific criteria to use from the UMGC Library:

Author: Who is the author of the web site?
Bias: Does the web site present information that is biased, one-sided?
Accuracy: Does the web site present accurate information?
Currency: Is the web site current enough for your research topic?
Note: At the end of each annotation, declare the degree of acceptability: Is this web site acceptable for college level research?

For guidance, watch the 13 minute Crash Course video on Lateral Reading, which is the ability to cross check a website’s credibility as you are looking for information:

If you would like a transcript, click on the three horizontal dots under the video, and select Open Transcript. The transcript will open to the right of the video.

Additionally, some websites are not considered suitable for college-level research, please find a list of the most common websites that are unacceptable for college-level work:

EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE WEB RESOURCES: Avoid these sites For Your Webliography and For Discussion.

For profit, commercialized sites that sell advertisements
Private web resources were you can find nothing substantive about the author or the political philosophy or the private funding source
The History Channel
A&E Television material or the Independence Hall Association (for profit) it is a commercialized site that “uses” information from accredited sources. Go to the UMGC Library and ask the Librarian to help you find the relevant Oxford Companion to History series. See above. It sells ads and “uses” information from other sources. not professional; commercialized a commercialized site sells magazines
YouTube, “home-made videos.” If the video comes from a scholarly source, it is acceptable.
Alpha History
Sites geared toward K-12 education
Sometimes people confuse a web address with being the same as a website. This is not the case. Articles from journals or websites are NOT websites. Make sure you are clear as to what a website is. For example,,, or are websites. Any article contained within them are not websites.

If your topic is contained within a part of the website then you must still evaluate the website as a whole for its suitability for use in a college level history research paper.

This assignment can be time consuming so do not let it get away from you. If you have any questions please email your instructor sooner rather than later. You will find:

the grading rubric at the end of these instructions. Please use the rubric as a checklist while you work and again before you turn it in.
a sample Annotated Webliography in the module labeled “Sample Assignments.” You may not use the websites from the sample. The sample assignment is meant only as a guideline as to what an ‘A’ paper is and is not intended to be a ‘perfect’ assignment.
Assignments must be submitted as a Word document. This means that the file name will end in .doc as in the following example: Johnson_Annotated_Bibliography.doc

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