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How to Write Annotated Bibliography

Any research work (and not only it) should include annotated bibliography. And before beginning you have to get to know about some special features peculiarities of it.

As a rule, an annotated bibliography is an arranged list of different sources (like reference list). The main feature of the annotated bibliography is that each reference also includes an annotation paragraph 100-200 words in length.  According to its assignment the annotated bibliography can execute different purposes:

  1. Supply a literature review on a exact subject
  2. Tries to help with formulating a thesis on a topic
  3. Provide the demonstration of the performed research on a particular subject
  4. Show the examples of the most important sources of information available on a current topic
  5. Point out and characterize items which could be interesting for other researches

There are two main types of annotated bibliographies

  1. Descriptive or informative
  2. Analytical or critical

A descriptive one describes all sources. It also describes the utility of the source for research questions and its personal features. It also explains the source importance for reaching a particular goal or topic. And at last it presents the author’s most important arguments and conclusions without any estimation of author’s statements.

Analytical or critical bibliography not only sums up the material but also carries out analysis of what is being said.

An annotated bibliography should also include next elements:

  • full bibliographic information;
  • details to explain the qualification of the author: services, works, degrees;
  • range and main objective of the work;
  • expected audience and reading difficulty level;
  • analysis or why you consider this work to be suitable for your theme;
  • any particular features about the material;
  • the weakness, biases and advantages in the material.

And, of course, the usage of required citation style is of great importance. Consult your supervisor to concur the proper style (e.g. APA, MLA etc.) with him, because many nuances depend on it.

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