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Welcome to the course page for BIOL 3225 with Nicole Tunbridge!

On this page you will find:

  • helpful resources for writing your annotated bibliographies
  • tips for locating articles for your assignment
  • citation management tools to help you organize your research
  • APA guidelines for labelling your figures

Please feel free to contact me either by email or, if you'd like to meet me on Teams or Zoom, you can book an appointment here.

Good luck with your assignment!


An annotated bibliography is a list of sources you will be using in your presentation. It will include an APA-style reference for each source, arranged alphabetically according to the authors' names, as you would normally do for a reference list.

However, below each entry you will also include a paragraph telling your reader something about the article and how it relates to your own research topic. Working through an annotated bibliography is usually done as part of the researching and writing of a larger project; it's also good practice in reading scientific articles and learning to summarize and evaluate them in terms of your own research. Learning how to critically read scientific information and integrating it with your own writing is a crucial skill for communicating in the sciences. 

See the example below of an annotation of an article from Plant Ecology.

Guidelines vary on how long your annotations should be, but in general 3-5 well-organized sentences should be enough to convey the most important information. You will probably write something in the range of 150-200 words. 

But what should be included?

At a minimum, your notes should provide:

  • a brief summary sentence or two on the nature and scope of the research
  • an indication of the author(s) credentials or expertise in the area
  • possible shortcomings, biases, or errors in methods
  • your own consideration as to the significance of the work and how it relates to other research in the area
  • reflect on how it is going to be used in your own work 

Tip: Check with your instructor for more specific instructions on formatting and content of annotations.

Here's a quick video that will outline the major points to consider when writing an annotated bibliography. 

Still have some questions about how to write an annotated bibliography? The following links should help you find your answers. 


For a more targeted search of the library's collection relating to climate change and plant science, these links below will take you to the most relevant databases.

These are just a few of the library's subscription journals relevant to plant science and ecology.

Have a particular journal you're interested in but you don't know whether the library has access? Use the Journal title search on the library homepage.

Get to know these Open Access journals that are freely available without a library subscription. 

Once you've thoroughly searched the library's collections, and you are looking for more hard-to-find literature, use Google Scholar.

If you are off campus, check the settings in Google Scholar. Look for Library Links, and add Kwantlen Polytechnic University Library to the search box.

Adjusting your settings this way will provide links to those search results the Library has access to.

Google Scholar Search

Zotero is a free browser tool that keeps track of your articles, books, and webpages, and creates citations in several formats. Sign up for a free account, and your personal library will be accessible from any computer with an internet connection.

For help learning how to use Zotero, please visit for downloading and support.

Tip: Use Zotero's NOTES feature to add notes to your saved PDFs. As you are doing your research and considering whether or not to use an article for your bibliography, adding notes as you go will save you time in the long run.


Also available for free, Mendeley allows you to import articles in PDF format from supported websites as well as stored on your local device, making them accessible from anywhere. You can references and bibliographies in many styles. 

Tip: Use the NOTEBOOK feature to make notes on the articles you save. This will make your work easier to organize!

You will be creating a figure for you annotated bibliography, based on the research results of your initial source article. This figure will require that you write your own caption explaining what the figure is about, and it is important that you do this in your own words. You will also include an in-text citation to the source of the data you are including in your figure, the original article. The full citation for the original article must appear in your annotated bibliography.

For details about how to number, label, and caption your tables and figures, see the comprehensive Tables-Figures page on the APA Style site.