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An annotated bibliography is the same as a “regular” bibliography (also known as a Works Cited or References list), with the addition of annotations (short paragraphs about each source). Two types of annotated bibliographies are the most common:
What is an annotation?
A short paragraph (50-200 words) that describes and/or evaluates each citation (source of information listed in your bibliography). An evaluative annotation judges, in your opinion, the relevance, quality, and accuracy of each citation, in addition to describing the work. Annotations usually consist of the answers to a number of questions.
Do I have to read the entire book/article?
Not necessarily! Look for information in:
While you are researching your topic you will compile a list of sources. Once you have your sources, create complete citations for them. After you have read through your sources think about these questions, as they relate to your research:
|Questions to Answer:||Examples:|
|What is the material?||Book, chapter, scholarly article, web page|
|What is the work about?||Topics and subjects covered|
|What is the purpose of the work?||Introduction, update, research report|
|Who is the intended audience?||Scholars, general public|
|Who is/are the author(s)? What are their qualifications?||Academic qualifications, research background|
|Authority of the source?||Peer-reviewed journal, reputable publisher|
|Are there any clear biases?||Personal/corporate agenda, unbalanced discussion|
|What are the deficiencies or limitations of the work?||Dubious research methods; information that is clearly missing|
|What are the strengths of the work?||Thorough discussion, extensive research, major work in field|
Unless otherwise advised, make sure your Annotated Bibliography is in alphabetical order. Start each annotation with a correct citation in the required citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).
The specific requirements for annotated bibliographies are usually set by your instructor. However, here are some suggested guidelines for both APA & MLA formatting:
For more information on annotated bibliographies, check out the resources linked below. As always, if you need more help, please ask a librarian.
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