Research Summary and Annotated Bibliography

Learning Goal: I’m working on a mechanical engineering project and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

A key part of the design process is to learn more about the problem you are trying to solve. (Most design is actually re-design.) This task has two parts: a research summary document and: an annotated bibliography.

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Research Summary

After you have compiled your annotated bibliography (see below) write a 1 – 2 page summary (single spaced) of your research. The audience for this document is your project sponsor – you are telling them what you have discovered. You should write roughly 1-2 paragraphs that describes major findings / trends / interesting observations pertaining to each of the major topic areas presented in your annotated bibliography. This document should include proper citations for each idea you present that refer readers to the appropriate reference in your annotated bibliography. See here for how to create in-text citations using APA style.

Annotated Bibliography

Prepare an annotated bibliography for your project sponsor that documents the resources you have found in your research. See this tutorial for information about preparing annotated bibliographies. In brief:

  • Search for relevant information using a variety of sources (see list below)
  • Read/watch/listen to the information
  • Create a properly formatted bibliography entry using APA style (citation machine can help) Also include a hyperlink to the material.
  • Write a 3-5 sentence entry that answers the following questions:
    • What is the important information from this resource?
    • What is the relevance or impact of this on your project?

You should have at least 40 – 50 entries (~10 per person), though I expect some teams may have many more. You should group resources together under meaningful headings such as Stakeholders, Patents, or Existing Solutions.

Consider using the following resources as you search for references.