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Writing an Annotated Bibliography: The Basics
What is an annotated bibliography?
It's an organized list of cited references that includes both a brief
summary and an evaluation of each source. The length requires that you use pithy description and succinct analysis.
Why an annotated bibliography?
As a literature review on a particular topic
Demonstrating to the reader if a source should be considered for her/his research
To illustrate the quality of your research
Providing examples of the types of sources available
Giving your research historical perspective or relevance
Exploring the parameters of the subject
Preparing for future research
What might you address in an annotated bibliography?
Audience – Who is the author addressing? Who should be reading this?
Authority – What are the writer’s credentials? Why should we believe what he has to say? Is the author really an
authority? Bias – Do the authors / publishers have a particular agenda they are trying to promote?
Content – Is what’s included appropriate? Is it worth reading?
Coverage – Is the topic explored thoroughly? Does the scope of the material match the author’s intentions? Is there a better work on this topic?
Currency – Is this up-to-date? Is timeliness important for this particular topic?
Organization – Does the arrangement of the content augment the argument?
Purpose – What does the author intend to convey? Does the author achieve this?
Relevance – Does this contribute significantly to research in this field?
Quality – Is this an exemplary demonstration of scholarship?
Special Features – Does this work include any attributes that benefit the reader and make it particularly useful? (illustrations, index, footnotes, recommended readings)
Writing Style – How does the manner in which the material is presented contribute to the overall purpose?