What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotation is a concise, evaluative summary of a source. A bibliography is a list of sources or references. As such, an annotated bibliography combines these two elements: it is a list of references with a brief, evaluative summary of each. An annotated bibliography assignment is formatted so that the references are listed in alphabetical order (in the required academic referencing style for your School), with each annotation directly below the reference it summarises. Annotated bibliographies are both descriptive and evaluative. They aim to provide a summary and inform about the relevance, accuracy and credibility of the source cited within the context of a specific topic.
You might be asked to produce an annotated bibliography to:
Become familiar with the literature on a particular topic or area of study Become familiar with and organize sources on a particular topic or area of study in preparation for a subsequent assignment (e.g. essay, literature review, research proposal) produce a relevant resource list (e.g. an age specific reading list for a primary school class, a list of up-to-date resources/readings for a particular topic area) to help you learn how to reference properly
What should an annotated bibliography include?
In general an annotated bibliography includes:
bibliographic details:- full details of each source arranged alphabetically (according to the authors name) and punctuated according to the referencing system you are required to use (e.g. APA, Harvard.)
a summary: – an overview or concise description of the main ideas or arguments of each source
a critique: – a critical analysis of each source evaluating such elements as its strengths and weaknesses, and reliability or objectivity
a statement of the relevance: – the relevance or usefulness of the source is stated within the context of the topic, a particular assignment task or to other sources in the area of study or...
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