How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
In general terms, a bibliography is an alphabetical listing of the books that were used to help write a reference project. This listing is typically found at the end of the article or other literary work and serves to provide the original author with credit for the information while also providing the reader with others sources for further information.
The most basic of bibliographies contain only the details needed to find the referenced material. More specifically, they contain information such as the title of the work, the author's name, the copyright date, the volume number, and other basic information.
With an annotated bibliography research paper, the bibliography is taken to a new level. This is because the annotated bibliography includes evaluative comments and descriptions in addition to the basic reference information. By including commentaries and descriptions within the annotated bibliography, the person reading the literary work can better determine whether or not he or she should use that source for additional information.
When writing the annotation to be included within the bibliography, you should typically expect to write about 150 words. Although it can be as little as just one sentence, the annotation should generally be longer in order to provide the reader with an adequate amount of information.
When determining what you will include in the annotation, you should consider several factors. For example, you should consider the main purpose of the work you have sited. In addition, you should provide a brief description of the content and format of the work you are referencing, as well as the theoretical basis for the argument the author presents.
When writing an annotated bibliography, you should provide some information about both the content of the source that you are citing and the author of that source. For example, the intellectual and academic credentials of the author should also be briefly discussed in the annotated bibliography. Similarly, you should mention the intended audience of the work as well as any significance or value that the work contributes to the subject area.
If there are any significant features to the work that are of particular importance, such as appendices, a glossary, or a very helpful index, this should be included in the annotation. If there are any shortcomings to the work, this can be mentioned in the annotation as well. Finally, you can provide a brief summary of your personal impressions of the work you are citing.
It is important to note that an annotation is not the same as an abstract. Whereas the abstract merely summarizes the main points being made in the work, the annotations of the bibliography should both describe the work and evaluate the major points. As such, the purpose is to provide the reader with valuable information regarding the sources you have cited while also providing the reader with information on how to conduct additional research beyond that which is included in your article. As with any aspect of an academic article, be certain to use proper grammar and punctuation when writing the annotations.
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