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BIO 101/102/106 Lab Assignment Playbook

Library resources for biology

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E. coli: Annotated Bibliography

For this assignment you have to write an annotated bibliography that consists of five peer-reviewed primary sources that are cited in APA format.

What do these words mean?

Annotated bibliography --  a list of citations to the sources you used or will use for your essay or research paper. Each citation is followed by a short paragraph (the annotation), that describes and evaluates the source using about 150 words. The purpose of the annotation is to inform your readers of the quality, relevance, authority, and accuracy of the sources you have picked.  Check this guide for more information about annotated bibliographies.

Primary source -- a report of a study or experiment, written by the person(s) who conducted it. Usually, these reports will have a section titled Materials & Methods, which can help you determine if your source is primary.

Peer review -- This means that a panel of three experts in the field reviewed the article before it got published to the journal.  Peer reviewed articles are considered of higher quality than non-peer-reviewed ones.

APA citation format -- For this assignment, you have to cite your sources using the APA style.  Visit this playbook to learn how to cite using APA style.

Having Trouble Finding Articles?

Sometimes the resource you are searching does not have an article in full. If this is the case, you can request that the library get you the entire article. To request materials from other libraries,  please fill out this form and allow up to 7 days days for the article to arrive.

If you have trouble finding sources, please contact the librarians at and ask for help!

Read a Scientific Study in Three Steps!

Scientific studies can be hard to read, but you can make the reading a bit easier by following this method:

  • Read the introduction.  This section is where the researchers explain why they did the study and what they expected to find.
  • Read the conclusion and/or discussion. This section is where the researchers explain the results of the study, and what they found.
  • Read or scan the middle of the article. This can be the hardest section, as it has the highest concentration of scientific words and complex ideas and concepts. Reading the introduction and the conclusion gives you a good idea of what the experiment is about and makes reading this section a lot easier.

How to Do the Assignment

For this assignment, you are asked to have five primary, peer reviewed sources. You must use APA style for the citations.

How to conduct your research:

  • Read the assignment carefully to make sure you understand it all.
  • Before you start looking for sources,  identify terms you will use for searching, such as E. coli, disinfectant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, triclosan, sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, acetic acid, growth inhibition,etc
  • Think of synonyms and related words or expressions too.
  • Use scientific terms to help narrow down sources: for example, for this assignment, you can use the bacterium's scientific name, Escherichia coli.  
  • Combine terms by putting AND in between them. For example: E. coli AND disinfectant.
  • If you need an overview of e.coli, here is a good one: "E. Coli: A Brief Overview," from the British Journal of NursingYou may have to login to MyPVCC to read this article. To access the whole article, click "Full Text PDF."

Sources for the Assignment

Use your terms in these resources.  Once you have your sources, visit the library's annotated bibliography playbook to learn how to create your bibliography. To format your citations, please see the library's APA Citation Style guide.

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