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HOW TO WRITE AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

Annotated bibliography refers to list of citations for books, articles etc., that are used in research for perfunctory “annotations” for each that narrates the content of source  and gives summary of main argument. It adds illustrative and interpretive comments, getting the measure of nature and worth of cited work. It will help the future researchers to acquire related information about the work for further research. It is the last step of pedagogical essay.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN ANNOTATED BIB.?

Annotated bibliography for artistic topics includes following:

  • Introductory Paragraph
  • Citation and annotation
  • Summary and analysis
  • Sources used

 

HOW IT IS DIFFERENT TO ORDINARY BIBLIOGRAPHY?

Ordinary bibliography includes list of sources used in research, they help the bibliophiles in finding more details from the source. While, annotated bibliography adds note to each citation and reference for more details to summarize the source.

 

PURPOSE OF ANNOTATED BIB:

There are many purposes of annotated bibliography, some of which are:

  1. Get knowledge about specific topic by reviewing the literature capaciously.
  2. Prove that research is valid, so that one can claim and argument related to the work.
  3. Provide recapitulation of main points, dissensions and research within a particular area.
  4. Recognize potential changes in elucidation and theoretical stance on that specific topic.
  5. Point out relation between the information sources.
  6. Invigorate deeper commitment with individual sources to develop analytical and critical reading skills.

 

FORMAT OF ANNOTATED BIB.:

Annotated bibliography consists of two main parts i.e. citation and annotation.

 

1. CITATION:

Citation is termed as reference. Each entry in annotated bibliography is citation or reference. Citation comprises all the complete bibliographic information used in reference list of bibliography. Some of the common styles of citation are APA, MLA, MHRA, and Chicago.

 

2. ANNOTATION:

Annotation, written after citation, comprises of a paragraph of about 100-300 words. Annotations may comprise the following information:

  • Skimpy summary of the source.
  • Pros and cons of the source.
  • Conclusions of source.
  • Why source is pertinent to field of study.
  • Indicate background of author or authors of source and discuss its influence on research material from that source.
  • Recognize an argument of source including research question, methods and findings.
  • Personal conclusion about the source.

 

CONTENTS OF ANNOTATION:

Annotation may consist one or more of the contents listed below:

  • Description or summary of the source or sources
  • Estimation or analysis of research
  • Reflection on its effectiveness on work

 

a. Writing Description or Summary:

Start of annotation is usually description or summary of the research. It includes describing the main points of author and giving an overview or methodologies used for research work. Summary provides answers of some question i.e.  What was the target of research? What were methods used for collection and analysis of data? What are main contretemps or research finding? What were limitation (scope) of research? What were proofs to support conclusion? What was the purpose of research?

Another way for handling question related to summary of research is 5WH approach:

  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • Who?

 

b. Estimation or Analysis of research:

Estimation and analysis are very important factors of annotations and they can be justified by providing answers of following question in estimation and analysis:

  • Does author have right to claim his work?
  • Is there any effect of author’s background on research?
  • What are the assumptions of author?
  • Is it complete with logical flow of arguments?
  • Is there any limitation of method used?
  • What is the evidence to prove conclusion?
  • Is evidence strong enough to stand the entire conclusion?
  • How does discussion on the work contribute to educational debate on that particular topic

 

c. Reflection:

Providing a reflection means giving detailed analysis that how the source was useful for research on specific topic. However, it may include talking about the relation between source and theme of research work. In reflection, one have to clearly state in one or more lines about the usefulness of source on research of a particular topic and provide the reason why or why not is source helpful for their research work. For example:

“The source article helped in understanding the relationship between medieval religious spaces and the performance of religious ritual. Although it did not examine French convents, which is the main concern of research work, the methodology used by the author might be applied to research in order to make it more meaningful.”

 

STYLE AND LANGUAGE OF ANNOTATION:

Inclusive and accurate expressions are required for annotated bibliography. Following are guidelines for writing annotations:

 

1. Write in Complete Sentences or Phrases:

One can write annotations normatively or in phrases. The most important point to ponder is to remain consistent throughout. Consider to complete it in a preferred style.

 

2. Use Objective or Factual Language:

While writing description or a summary, evaluation or analysis, and reflection, it is preferable to use objective and factual language. Use reporting verbs in summary and argument i.e. “they issued”, or “he concluded” etc.

Use present historic tense throughout the annotation and try to use third person pronouns e.g. “the reports points out important events leading to that situation”.

Use evaluative adjectives to claim the conclusion and tell about the reliability of source of research e.g., “This article plays important role for research”.

Use factual language and avoid tentative terms like “It is pretty obvious”.

 

HOW DO YOU WRITE AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

While writing annotated bibliography you have to focus on topic, content and the source and ask yourself questions in order to write a perfect annotated bibliography. Some of these questions are:

  • What are central points of book or an article?
  • Is your estimation about the resource right or wrong?
  • Have you clearly defined the scope of your work?
  • Where your work lies with respect to other researches on the same topic?
  • What is importance of content? Is it complete?
  • Who is in charge of work?

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