how to write an annotated biblography format

how to write an annotated biblography format

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Format

1. Introduction

An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources with accompanying paragraphs, called annotations. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. A good annotated bibliography helps the reader diagnose the relevance and accuracy of the sources cited. Firstly, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents which may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic. Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, b) comment on the intended audience, c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic. The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. This method is a useful approach for the reader to comprehend which source played the most significant role in the bibliography.

2. Understanding Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author’s project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness to the author’s own writing. An annotated bibliography helps you become a better researcher. In order to write an annotation, you need to know a little about the research you’re doing. A librarian can help you locate sources that may be useful for your project. There are two types of annotated bibs; one is descriptive and the other is analytical. The descriptive type simply describes the source. It is similar to the paragraph that explains a source in the process of writing a paper. The goal here is to be able to explain the source to enough detail that when you go back at a later date, this description will refresh your memory about what you were thinking when you decided to use this source for a paper. The descriptive annotation is only 100-150 words. The analytical type of annotation is more difficult. It isn’t enough to know what a source is about, because it might be complex and you could easily get lost. An analysis helps the reader decide if this source is useful for a specific topic. An analytical annotation goes into more detail. It includes how this source can be useful for a specific topic, and whether or not it is reliable. With practice, both types of annotations will become easier.

3. Formatting Guidelines

A) Begin your annotated bibliography following the format on the template. Remember to bold the annotated bibliography title at the top of the page. B) Your cited material must be presented in alphabetical order according to author surname. C) The annotated bibliography should be composed of a single paragraph, double spaced, and between 150-200 words. This is the paragraph’s first sentence and is meant to inform the reader of the relevance. D) Each of your annotations should then be listed in alphabetical order according to the citation. An annotation is a summary and evaluation. Therefore, an annotation for each source should be a thoughtful and original paragraph descriptive and evaluative, as summarized above. E) Sentences should be complete, and the bibliography should use correct grammar and spelling. This is the final sentence of the final guideline and is repeated for persuasive effect.

4. Writing Annotations

An annotation is a summary and evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following: summarize. Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. For more help, see our handout on paraphrase and summary. There are some evident flaws in the logic of the article supporting the sociological model. First, it presents a vague definition of a sociological model and then proceeds to describe Rational Choice theory and the results model without explaining what is meant by the more general term.

5. Conclusion

Finally, the last step and fifth step is to write the actual annotations on the source. Step five can be considered the most challenging because it involves skillful writing and concise summarizing. The annotated paragraph needs to be a brief analysis, as previously mentioned, on the source.

Step four is to reflect on the source. This is similar to summarizing; however, it is a connecting step between summarizing and writing the content of the annotated paragraph. During the reflection, the reader needs to identify and take note of the main ideas and points about the source.

The third step is to assess the source. Essentially, this means examining and evaluating the source. The reader needs to ask who the author is, what is the author’s background, was the author successful in presenting the ideas, is the evidence relevant, has the author provided a good methodology, etc. This will all be used to determine the quality and accuracy of the source.

Step two, summarize the source. First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on the topic. Decide which is the most relevant and useful idea or ideas in the source. This will lead directly into step three.

Step one of writing an annotated bibliography is choosing the citation format. There are several different citation formats that the reader can choose from (MLA, APA, Chicago style, etc). Choose the format that can be used in the paper.

Annotated bibliographies feature a list of references that may consist of any type of documents – written, verbal, or physical – and a brief paragraph that succinctly remarks on the contents of the source. The paragraph is usually about 100-150 words and 4-6 sentences; however, the length might be different depending on the professor’s assignment or the content of the source. The purpose is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source, and to state how this source will be used in the paper or project.

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