Home Random Page



What information should I include in my annotation?

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research that has been done on a given topic. Like any bibliography, an annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of research sources. In addition to bibliographic data, an annotated bibliography provides a concise summary of each source and some assessment of its value or relevance. Depending on your assignment, an annotated bibliography may be one stage in a larger research project, or it may be an independent project standing on its own.

An annotated bibliography contains a list of sources, with a paragraph summarising each source's content and purpose. Each source begins with a fully referenced citation, followed by the paragraph.

The 'annotation' refers to the paragraph, which aims to briefly summarise and evaluate the content of the source. The sources you select for your bibliography should focus on the same topic area.

The purpose of each annotation is to evaluate how well a particular source has addressed the topic area in its own way.

How long is the annotation?

For university assignments, 100-250 words per annotation is an average length. Sometimes annotations can be very brief with only one or two sentences. However, the assignment instructions usually specify the word limit for each annotation. If in doubt, check with your course coordinator or lecturer.

What information should I include in my annotation?

An annotation differs from an abstract, which presents an overall summary of the key issues, processes used and outcomes. You definitely need to include a summary of the key issues identified in your chosen source. However, you need to go beyond just a summary. Your annotation should provide an evaluation of the source. This evaluation can address the following five criteria:

  • Focus: How is the topic approached within the source? Is this approach narrow or broad in scope? Is this a central source in the topic area or is it located on the periphery?
  • Relevance: Is the source appropriate for its intended audience? Could any areas be improved? How well qualified is the author in the topic area? Is the author more or less qualified than others who have published in the field?
  • Quality: Are the arguments logically presented? Do the arguments make sense? Is scholarly evidence used to support points? Are alternative perspectives acknowledged? Are topics covered in enough depth? Have opposing pieces of evidence been omitted? Does the information summarise what others have said or does it offer something new? Is the information based on primary data, originating in the topic's context (e.g. diary entries from soldiers in WWII or data collected by a researcher studying the topic); secondary data, based on reports which summarise events or others' research findings; or a combination?
  • Accuracy: How recent is the source? Even if it is a recent source, published within the last 2 years, does it refer to recently published material? Can some of the ideas be supported by other sources you have read in the area?
  • General structure and design: Are clear introductory and concluding sections provided within each chapter? Is there a glossary of terms or abbreviations used within the source? Is there an index? If so, is it comprehensive? Do chapter titles clearly identify the nature of the topic under study? Is the information divided into clearly identified sub-sections, which help with understanding the development of ideas?

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 79

<== previous page | next page ==>
 | Who would find an annotated bibliography useful?
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2017 year. (0.007 sec.)