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English 101 – FRESHMAN ENGLISH – Gamberg – Spring 2016

Julie Gamberg's English 101 Course Website

Annotated Bibliography Examples

Your Annotated Bibliography Assignment



How to Create Annotated Bibliography

What is a bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, periodicals, databases, websites, etc.) used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "references" or "works cited," depending on the style format you are using. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., author or editor, title, publisher, publication location, copyright date, etc.).

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations should:

• Summarize: What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. 

• Assess: Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source? 

• Reflect: How does the source fit into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Why Should I Write an Annotated Bibliography?

Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project and helps you learn more about your topic. While collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, writing annotations for each source requires you to slow down and learn more about the sources you may end up using in your research paper. When working on your annotated bibligraphy, you begin to read more critically, instead of just collecting information. At the professional level, annotated bibliographies help you to understand the scope of  literature on your topic and where your own research or scholarship may fit.

Wrting an annotated bibliography can also help you to formulate your thesis. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So a very important aspect of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Working on an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you'll begin to understand what the issues are, what people are arguing about them, and how you can develop your own point of view to contribute to the discussion.

Extensive and scholarly annotated bibliographies are sometimes published. They provide a comprehensive overview of everything important that has been and is being said about that topic. You may not ever get your annotated bibliography published, but as a researcher, you might want to look for one that has been published about your topic.


Annotated Bibliography Tutorial

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