How to Write Annotated Bibliography
Having to write academic work before graduating is one of the biggest headaches for most students. This is not just because of the research involved but also having to do citations, among others.
Another big challenge is writing an annotated bibliography. Most students see this as just making a list of used sources in their dissertation. However, there is much to that. It provides readers with more information on the sources used for your project. Let’s look at the importance of annotated bibliography and how to write them.
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography section of your dissertation contains the list of references used in your research. Each citation comes with a brief description of the source. It tells the readers the sources you obtained information and data for your research. It needs to be precise and concise. Annotated bibliography serves the following purpose.
- Summarizes all relevant sources used in your project
- Point readers to vital statistics or data
- Prevent being accused of plagiarism
- Focuses on significant points addressed by the author
- Analyses every source and why it was used
Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography
Writing an annotated bibliography is mostly required to authenticate the information and data used by students. It also “forces” students to undertake useful research since the sources might be rechecked. Also, as stated above, it leads readers to relevant sources in your project. To write a useful annotated bibliography, you need to plan it. Planning and outlining this makes it easier to execute. Here are a few steps to follow.
- Identify the scope and purpose;
- Make use of a source card
- Take notes
The Scope of Annotated Bibliography
This helps you narrow in which part of the sources you are using and how extensive it should be. You are, therefore, able to plan how your annotation will go.
Organizing your sources
You can use a source card to have the required information from sources for referencing. This may include the author’s name, the title of work, publishing date, and publisher.
Taking notes at you read from sources is essential in academic works. As you read, jot any important points you come across, including data and statistics. Afterward, make a summary of all the facts.
Choosing an Annotated Bibliography Format
There are different formats for writing an annotated bibliography, and each university has theirs. If you are oblivious of your university's required standards, consult your project supervisor as to which format to use. Consider the structure below:
Informative: (it highlights the vital ideas, purpose, or arguments made in the source);
Descriptive: (this format describes the sources and their essential elements, including key points, chapter headings, and key segments);
Critical/ analytical format: (study and analyze information sources).
Tips for writing Annotated Bibliography
When writing the descriptions of your sources, you should include the following information:
- The purpose of the source
- Arguments made by the author
- If possible, add elements like diagrams, infographics, charts, etc.
- Significant points and findings in the research
- Audience targeted by the source