Choosing Sources for Writing APA Annotated Bibliography

Writing an APA annotated bibliography requires many intellectual skills that a student needs to possess. By these skills, we mean concise and coherent exposition, brief analysis and, of course, information sources research. An annotated bibliography provides the amount of information sources (research works) that are used within the research on a certain theme. In other words, an annotated bibliography is a list of sources that is usually written in alphabetical order (however, other kinds of ordering also acceptable). Additionally, your annotated bibliography needs to include a brief summary of every used source and an evaluation of its relevance in the light of the area of your research. According to the purpose of your research and requirements of your instructor, an annotated bibliography may be a part of your big research project, but also it may be an independent and separate research paper.

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The first and most important thing that the success of your research paper (and the annotation itself) depends on, is the quality and relevance. Select your sources very thoroughly and attentively because they not only have to be in the area of your own research and enlighten important issues, but also be of a high quality. Therefore, at first you need to determine the scope of your research very carefully in order to state the value of each source and decide whether include it in your annotated bibliography or not. Remember that it is going to make your research project reasonable. In order to make a good choice, try to follow the next steps and answer the following questions:

  • What is the issue of your investigation? What are the questions that you need to answer? If the annotated bibliography is a stage of your research project, then it needs to follow the main research question. On the other hand, if your APA annotated bibliography is an independent and separate research project, then it is going to have its own topic and problem. In this case, define the list of questions you will answer in your annotation in such a way that it could be coherent and clear.
  • What sort of material is necessary for your research? You may use scientific articles in journals and newspapers, books, web-sites, reports and interviews and so on.
  • Determine the scientific area of your research project very precisely. Remember that your annotation is not going to be broad. It should be narrow enough with a deep content at the same time.
  • Make a summary of the argument of every source that you use. One of the purposes of your annotation is to restate the key argument of the information source. Pay attention that academic source annotation usually determines the research question of the source (as well as thesis or hypothesis, depending on the kind of source), the methodology of the research and, finally, the conclusions made by the author of research.
  • What is the strategy of writing the APA annotated bibliography?
  • When looking at an annotated bibliography sample, you see only the final result. However, you cannot see any efforts made by the author of bibliography and you cannot see there any strategies. At the same time, be sure that writing all kinds of research papers has a strategy. Below, take a look at some steps you should take.
  • Determine the main thesis of the work (or the key research question, etc.). As a rule, the easiest way to find out the main objective when reading the introduction of the research and its conclusion.
  • Pay attention to what terms are repeated in the work. There also can be ideas that are mentioned many times. These are the key points of the research and when finding them, be sure that together with these key points the author writes about the main research question and the purpose.
  • Pay attention to the structure and organization of the text. It is probably divided into different parts, each of which enlightens the main question from various sides and viewpoints. Notice what ideas the emphasis is put on in the text. This strategy will be helpful when making up arguments for your annotated bibliography.
  • Find out how the author uses the theory of his research. Does the theory provide the evidence of the giving data? In addition, notice what methodology is used to prove the theory.
  • Each paragraph of the research work probably has an opening sentence. In fact, there are always opening sentences in paragraphs. Therefore, pay attention to them. The point is, they usually provide a little overview of the further content of the paragraph and contain the key idea of the paragraph.
  • Read each paragraph that summarizes the key arguments of the research work. The annotated bibliography sample doesn't demonstrate how the comprehension of the arguments was achieved. However, it gives a strong argumentation of each information source cited in the research paper.

Depending on what requirements and instructions to your annotation are, you may need to include in it different information. On the other hand, there are common requirements that have to do with all kinds of annotations, such as:

  • A brief description of the content.
  • The usefulness of the source.
  • Its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Evaluation of its relevance and reliability.
  • You personal reaction.

You will probably find the evidence of the above-mentioned information in an annotated bibliography sample. Also, you can use our assistance with writing your APA annotated bibliography. Moreover, we would like to inform you about other services we provide.

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