What is an Annotated Bibliography and how to Write one?

and the library we are often asked by students how to write an annotated bibliography this tutorial was written to help you gain a better understanding of what an annotated bibliography is and how to write one to comprehend what an annotated bibliography is let’s first examine the definition of each of the words individually we’ll start with the bibliography a bibliography is a systematically arranged list of resources such as books and journal articles that are used for research they are alphabetically listed by the last name of the author see the red underlines in the example let’s move on to discuss the definition of an annotation an annotation could be an explanation a description a summary a critical evaluation or a combination of all of the above in general when speaking about an annotation in regards to an annotated bibliography an annotation helps the reader gain additional knowledge of the source without reading the entire source now let’s combine the definitions of a bibliography and an annotation into one larger definition an annotated bibliography is a systematically arranged list of resources such as books and journals used for research that also has a brief summary and critical evaluation of each resource in other words a bibliography provides you with the author title and publication details of resources used whereas an annotated bibliography includes everything a bibliography does but it also adds a paragraph of summary and evaluation to each resource because it can be helpful to have a visual example of what you are trying to create here are the first two sources listed in an annotated bibliography notice the bibliographic entries listed are in alphabetical order like we previously stated was necessary these are shown by the red underlines both entries use correct in format and then they’re both followed by the annotated portion as indicated by the yellow stars a commonly asked question is how long should my annotated bibliography be the length of each annotated entry depends upon the specific guidelines your professor has given you an annotation can be as short as one sentence but generally each annotation should be one paragraph that is three to five sentences not exceeding 150 to 200 words each professor has the freedom to specify the length of an annotated bibliography so if you have any questions regarding the length please contact your professor you might also be wondering how do I choose sources to use in my annotated bibliography choosing resources for an annotated bibliography involves doing research just like any other project choose peer-reviewed journals and scholarly monographs that provide a wide variety of perspectives on your topic the quality of your bibliography will depend on your selection of your sources if you need help determining which sources are scholarly or peer-reviewed take a few minutes to watch our scholarly versus popular video tutorial you can find that tutorial by searching for other videos on our youtube channel under luther rice library ultimately when choosing sources for your annotated bibliography always follow the specific guidelines your professor may have given you we hope that you now have a good understanding of an annotated bibliography with the tools we have given you hopefully you can successfully write solid annotations that will earn you a high grade on your next annotated bibliography assignment

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