Creating An Annotated Bibliography For A Research Paper

When writing a research paper, there are various sections that need to be included - precisely which sections need to be included depends upon the individual paper itself. One of these sections may be an annotated bibliography.

The following gives some information about what an annotated bibliography actually is, as well as how to write one to a high standard.

What is an annotated bibliography?

Essentially, the annotated bibliography is a detailed look at each piece of material or source used when writing your essay. As part of the annotated bibliography, you will need to provide a summary or an evaluation of each of the sources that you have chosen to use when writing your work.

What to include for each entry

The annotated bibliography will include new entries for each of the sources that you have included within your paper. As part of each entry, there are various things that you may wish to include. Essentially, each entry will need at least one, if not all of the following elements:

  • A summary – The summary essentially outlines any arguments that have been made in the content that you have used from that source. To put it another way, the summary essentially looks at any topics that the articles or books that you have used as a source our based upon.
  • Assessment – You may wish to include an assessment of a source that was used when writing your work. The assessment may look at how reliable the information was that you found within it.
  • Reflection – Finally, you may wish to include a reflection of the source that you used. As part of the reflection, you may wish to describe how useful or helpful the source was.

How long should each annotation be?

When it comes to writing each entry, you may be wondering exactly how long each annotation should be. Essentially, the length of each annotation depends on what information you need to include and, therefore, there is no set limit. However, as a general guideline, each annotation could be anywhere between a couple of sentences in length through to a couple of pages.

Ultimately, you will be the one who decides on the size of how long each annotation will be, but as long as it includes the relevant information, such as a summary, assessment, and/or reflection, then it should be sufficient in terms of length.

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