annotated biblography format

annotated biblography format

Annotated Bibliography Format

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1. Introduction

An annotated bibliography is a brief summary and analysis of the journal article reviewed. It is more than a works cited list, and more than a summary of a given article. It identifies the central theme or scope of the article, provides a brief explanation, and gives the authors’ main arguments, while reviewing some of the assumptions of the article. On its most basic level, the annotation is a 150-200 word summary of the article, while an analysis synthesizes and extends the explanation of the article and provides an overview of the article’s usability and relevance. An excellent assessment of the article is then stated, the author may wish to then compare the information to other sources on the same topic. This comparing and contrasting is quite effective and adds to the assessment of the article and its relevance to the topic. In order to make the judgment, the author will also reflect on the article. This may be possibly the most important step for the author’s personal understanding of the article. This is where the author will ask questions provided by the article and reflect on whether the entire article or just portions of it answered these questions. All these steps help the author understand and approach the article with a better comprehension and help write the assessment of the overall relevance of the article to the topic. Step by step documentation and constructive annotation can be found from MLA website or even Purdue OWL. Annotated bibliographies can add to the complexity of a paper, this is a matter of thought organization and provides direction for the reader who may have a better understanding of the topic than the author of the paper.

There are occasional moments in histories of certain fields, when acts of uniformity occur organically and authors, writers, and researchers alike will use a particular format. The format becomes the standard in which to follow in that particular field. Generally, over time, the format becomes difficult, but sometimes a small alteration can bring the ease back to the process for the authors. The Modern Language Association through the years due to the large amounts of submissions to the various academic writings have quite easily developed a popular format to follow, and in recent years have made some alterations, making it much simpler for the author. One of the alterations can quite easily be misunderstood or underutilized due to the fact that it is new to some. The MLA has since developed a succinct format for cited sources, which authors can add to in their document. This format is called an “Annotated Bibliography”.

2. Purpose of Annotated Bibliography

Overall, the purpose of an annotated bibliography is to give the information a reader needs to make a decision whether to read the source, and the information provided by the author and the book is extremely relevant to anyone wishing to achieve this goal.

The second type of annotation is more complex and is recommended for more advanced work. This type of annotation defines the scope of the source, addresses the main argument, and is a brief analysis all in one. With this type of annotation, the author must accurately portray the source without giving his opinion. This is done by focusing on the main points and is more of an active than a passive exercise. The information given in this chapter will assist in preparation for an annotated bibliography and can be extremely useful when following the instructions given in the next chapter.

In this chapter, the author gives reasons for writing an annotated bibliography. The purpose of an annotation is to make the reader fully aware of the relevance and quality of the source. This will assist the reader in deciding if the work cited is relevant to a specific research topic or line of inquiry. Annotations can be critical and/or descriptive; they enable the author to point out the quality and accuracy of the source. The second half of the chapter gives detailed information about the two main types of annotations: summarizing and evaluating. This information is extremely useful because the author explains exactly how a particular type should be written. He also gives a description of what each should contain and describes the two in comparison to one another.

3. Components of an Annotated Bibliography

This section constitutes the heart of the Annotated Bibliography. It is simply a list of various books, articles, and other sources of information. Each source is listed in proper APA format (6th edition). The difference is that this section of the Annotated Bibliography is separated into various subheadings. For example, an Annotated Bibliography could be divided into sections such as Books, Articles, Internet Sources, and Interviews. Under each heading, you would then include specific information pertaining to the source. This information could be the format of the Annotated Bibliography the same as the outline above, the only aspect that changes is what is added below each source. Each annotation is usually 150-200 words and should be done in complete sentences. The length of the annotation may vary depending on the instructor. It is hoped that no matter what the length, the annotations will provide an insightful summary of the source and the source’s relationship to the topic. The important thing to note is that for most Annotated Bibliographies, the intent is to have the student read each source, so the annotation should be a succinct indication of the value of the source.

4. Guidelines for Formatting

Format: The most typical option to format your bibliography just prior to writing the assignment is to title the page “Annotated Bibliography”. This can be done in MLA format. Afterwards hit enter 2 times then change the font of your document to Times New Roman, size 12. This will prepare the spacing for your citations. Now, from this point on you will keep the same font and size for your citation. You should not underline the title or put it in quotation marks unless this is a quote or title of a book being cited. Now space once and proceed to create a citation for each source that you found. Notice that everything is double spaced on your citation page. This might be a little daunting the first time but once you get used to copying and pasting a citation and adding an annotation below it, it will be a lot easier. Now that you know it is a lot of unnecessary work, but do your best to have spaced all of your citations evenly between them. The newer versions of Word should have a break between each source that was last worked on, keep at least one line of text between each of your citations. This will create a clean and easier to read finished product. If you have the time it also doesn’t hurt to space each of your citations evenly apart so that there is an exact space of one page and no more. This is a nice professional touch on an assignment that turned out to be simple yet tedious.

The final stage of the process is formatting your annotated bibliography. General MLA guidelines recommend format restrictions for a file, font, etc. The annotation will present without a title, this won’t be required in the annotated bibliography, but you might like to include it if the professor instructs. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below:

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, after further review, the annotated bibliography format has a lot of information available that would have made my search a lot easier. If I had talked to a librarian before starting the assignment, I could have had him look up the books for me and he could have found a lot of the information that the authors provided when writing the articles. Also, I could have had the librarian show me through the library database on how to look up some of the articles that the authors of the books had mentioned. This would have saved me a lot of time and effort. As I was reading through a lot of the articles they had mentioned, they found some of their information from the same databases I was trying to use at the time. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the articles and books I attempted to find were too old to be found in text format online. Another aspect I could have done to make the search easier would have been to use the reference listing the authors had provided at the end of the articles. If I had paid attention to this before I had written my 1000 words, it would have made it a lot easier to pick an article to help me compare and contrast. This could have also taken me directly to the article without having to search on the internet information about the author and article/research topic.

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