Annotated Bibliography Example and Useful Tips for Writing

When you do a research, you probably use many sources of information, such as books, journals and articles, web-sites, scientific newspapers, interviews and so on. Sequentially, you need to list all these sources in your research paper in order to show that you have learned your subject area and are able to use relative information in your research process. The part of your paper where you describe the sources is the annotated bibliography, which also referred to as references or works cited. Every source in your annotated bibliography is presented with a quotation including its author (if you know his name), the title of the work cited and details in regard to the source publication. At the same time, an annotated bibliography goes together with the description or annotation (evaluation) of every information source, which you provide additionally. When dealing with this part of your resource, it would be helpful to use a good-written example.

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The purpose of any annotated bibliography is to help your potential reader state the value of the work cited: whether it is related to the specific research subject area or not. Therefore, when looking at an example, pay attention to the relevance of the source used in it so you could learn the critical approach of your reader and become able to meet his requests. Anyway, an example can guide you through your writing so that it will be much easier for you.

While some students often can hardly distinguish an annotated bibliography from an abstract, they are absolutely different. Abstracts are usually written in a form of short statements demonstrating the key points of the research paper. As a rule, they do not provide an evaluation of the cited work. At the same time, annotated bibliography can be descriptive and evaluating, or even a compound of both. As for the descriptive annotation, it provides a summary of the scope and the text of the research paper, while an evaluative annotated bibliography is usually written with the purpose of critical commentary.

When writing your annotation, make sure it includes all the necessary components. They may vary in different formats, although the typical components are the following:

  • The purpose of the work. Your annotation should provide the main purpose of your research work.
  • The target audience. It should also define what audience may find your research paper useful.
  • The topicality, usefulness and relevance of the research paper. Explain briefly why and how your research can contribute to the relevant area of science.
  • The background of the author of the work cited.
  • Conclusions which the author achieved in the cited work.
  • Conclusions which are achieved by you personally within the research process.

Concerning the format of the annotated bibliography, it may vary depending on the requirements of your professor. He may have defined a certain style guide that you need to use. However, if you have no requirements, you need to consult additionally in regard to this issue. If this issue is up to you, learn the instructions provided by citation style guides like Turabian, APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. As a rule, annotated bibliographies have alphabetically ordered items written in accordance with the author's name. You may find in the citation guide which information is appropriate to include in this part of research paper for every item. Anyway, the annotated bibliography has to be written right after the citation or below.

On the other hand, the annotation may also be organized in such orders as: chronological (by the date of publication, as well as by the period of subject, such as era, century or other historical period); by subtopic, if there are subtopics in your research paper; by formatting style (for example, books, article, media-files, web-pages and so on); by language used by the author for writing his work.

  • As for the length, it typically consists of one paragraph. Write no more than from 100 to 150 words. Obvious, it needs to be concise and brief.
  • As for the person to use. They usually use the third person. However, usage of the first person is also acceptable, but for certain kinds of annotations.
  • As for the language and vocabulary. You need to use mostly the author's vocabulary in order to present his ideas clear and provide an understandable conclusion. If you decided to use a quotation, you need to write it within the quotation marks. Pay attention to the phrases you use and don't repeat them. In other words, try to limit the usage of such phrases as, «The author believes», «The objective of the research is», «The author concludes», etc.
  • As for the format of the sentences, they may be complete, although separate descriptive words are also allowed to be used.
  • As for the format of the paragraphs, you need to make your annotated bibliography no more than one paragraph long. It has to provide a statement of the research paper's key thesis followed by developing of the rest of the sentences.

These are the guidelines that will be helpful in writing a good annotation. Remember also using our well-written annotated bibliography example. As a matter of fact, you can us if you want to receive help in dealing with this work. In addition, please be informed about other services we provide:

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