how to write an annotated biblography

how to write an annotated biblography

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

1. Introduction

The goal of the annotated bibliography is to provide the reader with an informative and descriptive list of resources that relate to a common topic. “How to Write an Annotated Bibliography” is a practical guide that will give you a better understanding of the what, why, and how to writing an annotated bibliography. This site also includes an example of an annotated bibliography. Annotated bibliographies are rich sources of information written by experts in their field of work. Normally, the annotated bibliography is a relatively complete listing of a single area such as a research paper, a thesis, a literature review, or any other type of document which includes an overview. When the topic is further defined, annotations should include the scope of the work, highlight major points, describe the theory, and also provide information on the author’s methodology and possible data sources. This is why writing an annotated bibliography can be very useful because it is a step to preparing a great research paper. Overall, preparing an annotated bibliography will help to formulate a thesis for a research paper and even aid in writing the research paper. Through this process, you learn more about the topic and the resources that provide information. This can be a very valuable resource to any research student.

2. Understanding the Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style. See Concise Rules for an overview of the style guide used in class. 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. This last part is probably the most important, because it directs the reader to those works that are most relevant to the subject at hand.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that 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.

In order to determine the purpose of an annotated bibliography, one must understand what it actually is. It is basically a list of citations for 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.

3. Gathering and Evaluating Sources

The world is a serious place to be when one is preparing an annotated bibliography, and there are few occasions where a student will feel as alienated from their typical university environment. Usually, when the assignment is given, the teacher or professor will ask students to stay after class or visit during office hours to explain just what is expected of them. In the case of producing an annotated bibliography, the student will normally retreat to the refuge of the library where he or she will spend an interminable length of time mercilessly scouring sources to find the exact information that the teacher is asking for. In either case, the student will find what they are seeking; what they are asking for is undoubtedly the most crucial phase in preparing an annotated bibliography. This is the phase in which one must gather and evaluate sources, and the failure to do this adequately will directly affect the quality of the finished product.

At some point in their philosophical endeavors, every student will be asked to prepare a bibliography at least once in their academic career. This is a task that will strike fear in the heart of even the most experienced student. For it is here where the student is given a large and complex assignment with minimal direction and is expected to outperform any guideline given to them in class. While it may sound like a lofty statement, the skill of producing an excellent annotated bibliography is demanded of undergraduate.

Knowing how to write an annotated bibliography is crucial for those who wish to succeed at doing research as it will help the writer not only to compile sources and evidence for their term papers but also keep a record of the information contained in the sources. Thus, the given chapter explains, in detail, how to find and evaluate sources for an annotated bibliography. In addition to pointing readers to sources, scholarly bibliographies include an annotation, or summary, of each source and some critical assessments. The most complete and well-written bibliographies will even incorporate new information found within the sources themselves.

4. Writing Annotations

The source given is a website with multiple links to weight loss information and tips. The author does not provide direct information in the source, but it leads to other links that give advice for people trying to lose weight. This source is up to date with the information being it was published in 2016 and provides links to other useful sources. The article concludes with futile results and “rate of the word” errors, which must be resolved. This annotated bibliography could serve as a useful tool for students doing research on cognitive bias and decision making, and the sample article is up to date.

An annotation is a summary and evaluation. Therefore, an annotation is not simply a summary of a source. It entails pointing out the source’s purpose, evidence, and relation to other sources. A good annotation should be 150-200 words. This is a brief exercise; do not spend more than an hour on your annotations for a paper this length.

Now that you have found the sources, you will need to write your annotations for each of these sources. Each annotation should be concise. Do not write too much—remember, you are only writing a summary of the source. On the line after the citation, indent two additional spaces and write the annotation. It is also crucial that you put a line between each citation.

5. Formatting and Finalizing the Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies should be in alphabetical order, and the paragraph annotations of the source should not be more than 150 words. Annotations should be indented a half an inch (.5″) so that the author’s last name is the only text that is flush left. This is the most common style used for annotated bibliographies, but your instructor might have other formatting instructions. After you have summarized the source, follow up with how the source was helpful to your research. In what ways can you use this source in writing your research paper? Was the information in the source credible? Are there important terms that are crucial to understanding your topic? The answers to these questions should be incorporated into your paragraph annotations. Remember, the annotations are not a mere description of the source but should express how the source was useful and influential in writing your paper.

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