As defined in the ECU academic tip sheet "Annotated Bibliography":
A bibliography is an organised list of sources (e.g., books, journal articles, electronic sources, etc.) consulted in the research process. Each item listed in a bibliography includes a citation (i.e., author (if given), title, and publication details of the source).
An annotated bibliography is a bibliography with an additional description or evaluation (i.e., annotation) of each source which helps the reader evaluate whether the work cited is relevant to a specific research topic.
Main features of an annotated bibliography
An annotated bibliography should consist of an alphabetical list of sources, each of which contains:
1. The bibliographical details of the source (author’s name, year of publication etc.) given in correct APA end-text referencing format.
2. An annotation is made up of a descriptive and/or evaluative paragraph (generally from 100 to 300 words).
The annotation should be concise and well written. Annotations may include some or all of the information outlined below:
• The main focus or purpose of the work.
• The intended audience for the work.
• The content of the source – e.g., subjects covered; major arguments supported.
• Special features of the work that were unique, helpful or successful;
• Features that are poor and/or the content that is left out.
• The background and credibility of the author.
• Conclusions or observations reached by the author.
• Conclusions or observations reached by you.
• The usefulness or relevance for your research (or why it did not meet your expectations).
• Have you identified, located and recorded all the books, journals and other sources required?
• Have you cited each source in the appropriate referencing style?
• Have you written a concise annotation for each source?
• Are your sources listed in alphabetical order?
• Have you submitted the annotated bibliography in the appropriate format?
King, J. (2010). How to write an annotated bibliography. Access, 24(4), 34-37.
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