Annotated Bibliography As Type Of Writing


Hearing the phrase “annotated bibliography', we let out a sigh of relief as we imagine just a list of the informational sources that are used during the paper accomplishment. Unfortunately, this kind of bibliography is not what you are thinking about now. Firstly, you should realize that it is a real labor as your task is not just to copypaste the authors and the names of their works, but to make a list of citations to the books, magazines, articles and accompany them with 150 word texts, that provide the audience with the summary and evaluation of the sources cited. Depending on the assignment peculiarities and set purposes, we should distinguish the following types of annotative bibliographies:

  • Indicative annotation. It implies representation of the source content: what it is about, what are the main issues.
  • Evaluative annotation. From its name, we can guess that this type of bibliography estimates advantages and disadvantages of the work: what it can boast of and what should have been excluded.
  • Informative annotation. This type is considered to be a summary of the work: it unveils the thesis, arguments, evidence and conclusion.
  • Combined annotations. It is the most widely-used type of the bibliography that firstly informs the reader about the content of work and then evaluates it. It is both descriptive and critical, expressing the author's point of view and attitude to the source.

Structure Of The Bibliography Annotation

It is important to know what the elements to include in your bibliography annotation. In other words, you should have a plan that reflects the structure of the annotation. Below you can see the list of issues it may include:

  1. Author's proficiency: here you should to tell about the writer as the one apart from the work you used. What he is famous for, what is his experience at your subject, what position he is/was at and so on.
  2. The purpose of writing: what was the purpose of writing, why was he interested in this particular issue, what he wanted to achieve with this work.
  3. The potential readers: This section implies the audience, to which this work is addressed: age category, special interests, society levels, profession and so on.
  4. Author's opinion: what the author considers his work to be, what are the main aspects of work, what he tries to emphasize.
  5. References: The author can make references to other works, comparing or contrasting their approaches with his own.
  6. Concluding part: Here you should write about the results of the research and emphasize the main idea of the paper.

Writing Form And Format: Organizational Issues

As stated above, the length of the annotation is 100-150 words. It must be in the form of one paragraph. During writing, use third person singular and plural. It is even better to use passive voice and passive constructions. Avoid repetition of the standard phrases in the text. Remember that the paramount task here is not to express your emotional attitude to the work, but to summarize the work and show its contribution to your research. Try to use the vocabulary of the author showing your acquaintance with the work and to convey the ideas of the author. If you want to save the form of writing, put the author’s words into the quotation marks. Do not shorten the sentences, but sometimes usage of separate phrases and words is also possible. Your bibliography annotation must follow one of the citation formats such as APA, MLA, Chicago, ASA, ACA and so on.

How To Make he Annotation: Work Process

Annotated bibliography is usually a concluding part of the research work that has its own stages of writing. One of the first stages of writing, which coincides with a general plan of actions during the paper accomplishment, is searching and filtering of the information. Study all the books, articles, magazines you picked. You should analyze what literature is the most appropriate for your topic, selecting it from the other data sources you found. After that, proceed to summarizing of the work content and evaluation of the information source. What we would like to mention is the organization of the annotated bibliography. It can be of several types:

  • Alphabetical
  • Chronological
  • By language
  • By subtopic
  • By format

General Tips For Beginners

If you are not a good annotated bibliography maker, our prompts will definitely help you to cope with the task.

  1. Relax. Concentrate on your work and get rid of spare thoughts. What you need to do is to be completely involved in work process.
  2. Find consultants. You can find them through the internet forums or in real life. Ask your instructor for recommendation of appropriate literature for your work, speak to the librarian about what you are looking for, meet with experts in your subject in order to discuss the issues concerning your work, attend different lectures, seminars and additional courses, which will definitely give a number of capturing literature to the audience.
  3. Be grammatically correct. Though the annotation is short enough, it does not mean you will make less mistakes. Pay attention to the morphological and syntactical correctness: word combinations, order, sentence structure and punctuation peculiarities – everything matters.
  4. Adhere to the correct structure. In the previous paragraphs we have given you a list of issues that should be mentioned in your annotation. Do not restrict yourself only with informative functions as evaluation is required in the majority of cases.
  5. Avoid plagiarism. You can find lots of samples of the bibliography annotations through the internet but do not copy the text. You should read the source of writing and come to your own conclusion. After all, it is an integral part of your research.
  6. Ask your friends to look through the paper. It is good to have somebody to estimate your work from one's point of view and to check it for possible mistakes.

We hope that our tips will help you with your task accomplishment. Just do not put off your paper assignment into the farthest drawer and start work right now!