What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to articles, books, documents, and other materials you have found during your research. Each citation is followed by an annotation, a descriptive and evaluative paragraph of that source. Your annotation informs your reader in your own words of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources you have found and cited in your paper or project, and your reasoning for selecting these sources.
When researching a subject, you will come across short descriptions of books and articles in academic databases. These are abstracts, which are descriptive summaries of an article or book or other researched piece. Abstracts are usually written by the author as a quick summary of the piece. Abstracts can help a researcher make a quick decision in deciding to invest the time in reading the full piece. Annotations are descriptive and critically written by a researcher who read and decided to use the article, book, etc in their research project. In addition to a brief summary, annotations may describe the author's point of view, authority, clarity, critiques of the piece, or how the piece fits within the researcher's work.
Creating an annotated bibliography will help you put together an academic paper. The citations you are finding are like puzzle pieces, and you will use your intellect, creativity, and imagination to put the pieces together to provide your unique viewpoint on the subject. Thinking about and summarizing your research will help clarify your paper/project's logical argument. Below are the steps to creating a annotated bibliography.