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Annotated bibliography

Unlike high school, most of the academic tasks that a student will deal with in college will be assignments. Students have to write different papers for different purposes. They deal with different research papers, research papers, research proposals, dissertations, term papers and so on. Each one of the papers has to follow a predefined format. One of the requirements for writing these academic papers will be the inclusion of a bibliography page. An annotated bibliography provides the audience with essential details about the sources used in a research paper or related assignments.   

So what is an annotated bibliography?

Depending on the format of referencing and citation, it is commonly referred to as the ‘reference list’ or the ‘Works Cited’s; an annotated bibliography is a list that shows al the citations to journals, books articles and other documents whose information has been used in a research paper or a dissertation.  Every citation must be accompanied by a brief description that does not exceed 150m words.  The listed citations citation sources should incorporate information about the author, title of the work, the year of publication as well as other aspects. Citations help the reader in finding the source easily. From the above evidence, it is easy to infer that academic writing employs a well-calculated process that has specific requirements, all of which must be fulfilled.

The importance of annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is important in as much as it would look mundane to some people. It is an integral part of a research paper, and if the instructor has requested in in the paper, you have no option but to include it. Academic papers like research papers, dissertations, or thesis are always trying to make a point to the reader. For this reason, the reference that the writer uses must support the argument and to as more credibility to the point, he is making.

Annotated bibliography helps the professor to assess if the student has understood the question, researched all the information, and has relevant facts coming from and credible sources. With an annotated bibliography example and requirement, the student has no choice but to demonstrate that he is serious about his work.  It provides information on the timeline of the quoted text in a research paper or any other academic paper.

It gives the researcher a chance to delve into work that has previously done on the subject. He is able to identify where his paper fits best.  Research papers are essential tools for arguing out points, and it is for this reason that they require relevant information that on which a debate can hinge as they develop. With an annotated bibliography, the research paper is able to further the debate and driving the point home.

Annotated bibliographies help the researcher to everything that relates to his topic. Thanks to the internet, many bibliography sources and databases have more than one annotated bibliography example. All these assists the student in knowing the exact way of coming up with their annotated bibliography for his paper.

From a superficial perspective, coming up with annotated bibliography may seem easy, but in actual, sense, it requires careful consideration. It is tricky to come up with an effective annotated bibliography. They have to follow different formats of citation and referencing which include the MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago format. Each style of referencing and the citation has its own set of guidel9ne, and the student must understand them. This is because the instructor might require them to write an annotated bibliography based on any of these formats. It is a skill that the student needs to have if he wants to become the best academic writer.

Your annotated bibliography should do the following:

  • Establish the credibility of the source
    Your audience should know that the author and your source are credited. You can identify established institutions that have affiliations with the author through employment or otherwise, identify the reputation of the journal or the method of publication. You can look for peer-reviewed sources that are selections of the journal that have been approved by professionals in that field.
  • Summarize your work
    Identify and show the purpose of the work. You can paraphrase it, and it is also important to include the page number. You can use heading, chapter’s titles and so on when you are referencing your discussion or the organisation. This allows you to find the information quickly. Check annotated bibliography example to see how it’s done.
  • Demonstrate diversity and similarity
    You should show how sources relate amongst themselves. Show how details of the source or content compare to other sources in the bibliography. You cause the rhetorical modes of thinking, that is, comparison and contrast, definition, cause and effect, problem and solution, classifications and description as well as narrations.
  • Show the relationship between the source and your research to establish relevancy. You can use the strategy that has been described in the previous bullet.

Reading a book-length work for your annotated bibliography

When reading a book that you are going to use as a source, this is what you are supposed to do:

  • Print the catalogue page or make a copy of the page that provided library book information
  • Identify the documentation material found on the test and write your documentation first
  • You can scan the preface, front matter and back pages since they have information about the author to ascertain their credibility
  • The table of contents should also be scanned as well as the index of books you come across and are relevant to your topic. Learn about the organisation of heir text. Read the introduction and conclusion and the relevant pages in the body. Find the authors thesis and organisation in the introduction of the work. They are essential in creating a summary.
  • Think about the role of the content that relates to your topic, and where it will support in your research. This is what you will discuss to demonstrate relevancy.

Reading shorter works for an annotated bibliography

  • Print the entire work if possible or save the file to a flash drive. You can select peer-reviewed journals and professional websites as our sources.
  • Identify the documentation material found in the text and write your documentation first
  • You can scan the preface, front matter and back pages since they have information about the author to ascertain their credibility. If none of these is available, do a web search of the author and find out where he works and what they have published
  • Read the article as you pay attention to the introduction to find the author’s thesis and any headings. They are essential in creating a summary.
  • Think about the role of the content that is relevant to your topic, and where it will support in your research. This is what you will discuss to demonstrate relevancy.

Formatting reminders

  • The annotated bibliography will be formatted using the same way a standard Reference List, Works Cited, or Bibliography. It follows the format of the lead author’s last name, and if there is no author, use the first word of the title excluding articles a, an or the.
  • Annotated bibliographies are usually single-spaced. However, this depends on the format of citation and referencing used. Documentations may be double-spaced depending on the format you are using. Consult your professor to ascertain if formatting will be done
  • Paragraph indentation should be half an inch. Your documentation should use the hanging indent. Use the first line paragraph indentations for the annotation. This becomes much easier to read.
  • White space makes bibliographic entries easier to read. You can skip one place between the documentation and annotation. Each bibliographic entry is put on a new page. Consult your professor to ascertain if he prefers a different format.

Components of annotated bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is comprised of the following components. You have to note that not all of the fields shown below are used at once. They may vary depending on the type of annotated bibliography and the instructions provided by the instructor just in case the bibliography is part of an assignment.

  • Full bibliographic citation
    This must contain the necessary and complete bibliographical information
  • Author’s background
    Provide the name, authority, experience, or qualifications for the author
  • Purpose of the author
    Give reasons as to why the author wrote the work
  • The scope of the work
  • Main argument
  • Audience
  • Methodology
  • Viewpoint
  • Sources
  • Reliability of the source
  • Conclusion
  • Features
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Comparison
  • Your personal conclusion

Your annotation informs the reader. Therefore it should be accurate check any annotated bibliography example you come across.

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