Annotated Bibliography

What’s the Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?

It is vital to understand what an annotated bibliography is and the purpose it serves. An annotated bibliography is a well-organized list of citations to articles, books, websites, and documents. A brief description follows each citation (usually 150 words) and evaluative paragraph. The purpose of annotative is to make the reader understand the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. In other words, it is for readers to understand if the material is of importance and why.

How an Annotation is Different from an Abstract

An abstract is a purely descriptive summary, which is mostly found in periodical indexes or at the beginning of scholarly journal articles, while an annotation can be expressive and critical. It may also include distinctive features of the author's point of view clarity or authority and appropriate expression.

Types of Annotated Biographies

When writing annotations, the intended goals may differ. Regarding the instructions given by your professor or what is essential for your reader, there are three categories of annotations. A regular method cannot be used to describe all kinds of annotations because one annotation does not suitably fit all purposes. It is practical to consult your instructor and follow the directions to know the best type of annotation. The three types of annotated bibliographies are critical/analytical annotations, summary annotations and a combination of the prior two.

Analytical or Critical

An analytical/critical annotation not only analyzes what gets said but also summarizes the material. It looks at the strong points and faults of what gets presented, as well as reciting the applicability of the author’s part to research that gets conducted. You will, however, write critical or analytical annotations for some of your annotated bibliographies.

An annotated bibliography example:

Breeding evil. (2005, August 6). Economist, 376(8438), 9.

This editorial describes the debate associated with video games from the economists and the effects that they have on people who use them. Most critics of gaming are people over 40, as the article points out, and so it is an issue of age rather than the games. The author concisely remarks the studies done on the problems of violence and gaming. The reader does not get to know the series of research that gets done in the areas which the author does not go into enough depth. Age factor over violence is what the author of this article stresses and the reason for opposition to video games. For those who wish to explore the controversy surrounding video games, this article is a useful resource. However, one should examine other research studies when doing serious research rather than merely take the author’s word.

Please note the citation follows the apa bibliography format. You should always check first as the instructor might want you to use another citation format like the annotated bibliography mla or annotated bibliography apa.

Summary Annotations

It can additionally get categorized into informative and indicative annotations. The primary structures of summary annotations are:

  • They highlight the evidence, arguments mentioned in the work;
  • A summary of the source content gets shown;
  • They describe the theories used and explain the methodology;
  • A conclusion of the source gets offered.

Informative Annotations

It is a summary of the source. An informative annotation should include arguments, proofs, a thesis of the work and a conclusion. Informative annotations provide a straightforward overview of the source’s material. All the relevant information about the author gets summarized by the author and also the main points of work. To write an informative annotation, you should start with writing the thesis, develop it with the argument; list the proofs and state the conclusion.

Indicative Annotated bibliographies

Indicative annotations do not provide the actual information of the source. They give the general information about the kind of questions addressed by the work, e.g., through chapter titles. There is no attempt to provide actual data like hypothesis, proofs, etc. in the indicative entry.

Combination Annotations

There are annotated bibliographies that contain a combination of annotations. These types of annotations describe or summarize the topic, and then evaluate the usefulness of the source and a summary. A detailed analysis giving a reason for the writing usually gets included.

Annotated Bibliography Maker

To inform the professor about sources which you use in the research, a student will have to insert a quality interpreted bibliography into the text. Majority of mistakes get made in this section of assignment. It is, therefore, vital to take advantage of annotated bibliography maker which solves the problem of formatting.

How to Get Started

To create an annotated bibliography calls for the use of a variety of intellectual skills. You will need to:

  • Choose your sources: You must choose your sources before writing an annotated bibliography. Just like any other project, you have to do your research. Find any materials and records that may apply to your topic.
  • Review the items: Review the details and choose the ones that provide a wide range of perspectives on your subject. Article abstracts help in this process.
  • Write the annotation and citation: The total citation should always come first when writing your annotation. You may need to include the following based on the type of annotated bibliography:
  1. The reason for work
  2. The main points of its content
  3. The kind of audience it is intended for
  4. The significance of the topic
  5. Special or unique features of the material
  6. The strengths and weakness of the material
  • Check with your instructor to know if they prefer annotated bibliographies arranged either in chronologically or alphabetically. Note that there are minor variations between apa annotated bibliography and mla annotated bibliography.

Guidelines for Formatting the Citations

Always remember to format the citations correctly. The most used citations are the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA) or Chicago Style. Therefore, always check with your instructor which style to use as it can be annotated bibliography apa or mla annotated bibliography if you are unsure.

Conclusion on Writing an Annotated Bibliography

A student should now understand better what is an annotated bibliography and the purpose it serves. It is clear to see that an annotated bibliography helps you become a better researcher. From the annotated bibliography example above that used apa bibliography format, one can see the author’s point of view. It is also crucial to mention that annotated bibliography saves you time to an extent. Never forget to ask your instructor which formats to apply be it apa annotated bibliography or annotated bibliography mla. And remember to use annotated bibliography maker when formatting your work. With the help of this article, hope you are in a position to write an excellent research paper with annotated bibliography.