What is an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography can be described as a list of available research sources upon a given topic. It gives a brief account of these resources with a list including evaluations and concise descriptions covering each resource.

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to aid the researcher reflect upon the quality of the resource material and its relevance to the topic. However, its nature may depend on the nature of the assignment. The annotated bibliography may review the literature of a particular subject, demonstrate the scope of sources and the quality and the depth of reading done by the author, pave way for more research by exploring other sources as well as highlighting the sources that may carry some weight in the interest of the readers.

An annotated bibliography can be a stand-alone assignment while it can also be part of a larger project. It is usually comprised of a brief summary of content and a short evaluation or a short analysis. However, there are certain points that one must consider when writing an annotated bibliography. First and foremost, one needs to consider the kind of topic or question that they are working on in order to choose the correct sources. Then, the aim of the literature research needs to be examined. One must also discern the type of material that they are looking for. Prior to assembling the material, one must be aware of whether they are looking for historical data, journals, reports, etc. Most importantly, one needs to be careful enough to find the most essential texts for the project at hand. These sources need to be valuable and be often referred to in other texts as well. This establishes the value or the importance of the text which once again gives credibility to one’s own project.

However, one should always be careful not to make the annotations too long. Each should not extend one paragraph, containing only the most significant details. It should be written using academic vocabulary in full sentences, unless otherwise stipulated. An annotated bibliography is typically arranged alphabetically according to the author’s name.

An annotated bibliography is a very important document that provides a brief overview of the available research upon a topic. Not only does it provide a concise summary of the material provided, the task of compiling itself gives the researcher the opportunity to think upon the importance and the relevance of the material in question.



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