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Citing Sources: More Styles

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Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography? 

An annotated bibliography is a list of resources that includes the full citation of each resource followed by a summary.

  • The length of the summary/evaluation can be as long or as short as you want.
  • Ask your professor if he or she has a desired length.

How do I write an annotated bibliography?

  • Skim, this is not a close reading. 
  • get a snapshot of what is in the resource. 
  • get clues from the title, headings, chapter titles, read the first few sentences of each paragraph.
  • get information from major divisions of the book, from chapter titles, or subheadings in a chapter. 
  • Read the introductions and conclusions of each chapter for information.

Is an annotated bibliography the same as including an abstract?

No, an annotated bibliography is a critical look at a resource. An abstract is only a description and summary of the content. You want to summarize and assess your resource.

What should I include in my summary/evaluation?

When you write your summary

  • convey  basic ideas: relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
  • inform the reader why it is or is not a good resource for your research project.

Ask yourself 

  • Is the author of the resource knowledgeable and authoritative?
  • Is the resource written for your purposes?
  • Is it an academic resource?or more for the general public? For children?
  • Does this resource help the argument I am presenting in my research paper or project?
  • Where did you find this information?