Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques


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Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies are essential tools when it comes to research or writing an academic research paper. It is easy to organize all your sources in a manner that would hitherto be difficult. Annotated bibliographies make it easy for the writer to easily find sources that contain necessary information and the citations ready for your final paper. This is part of the many reasons why annotated bibliographies are useful. When writing your annotated bibliography, you get to think about the materials carefully and summarize them in to a short concise paragraph. As such, the text becomes fathomable, which is an invaluable skill, especially whey o, are making your argument as well as sources integration.

Definition

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that includes books, journals, periodicals, websites used for research on a topic. It is sometimes referred to as the “References” or “Works Cited” depending on the style of formatting that one has used in his paper. a bibliography contains bibliographic information about the sources, that is, the author, the title, the publisher and so on.

Components of an annotated bibliography

Bibliographic entry is the wholesome entry of a source. This entry comprises of a documentation and annotation. Documentation refers to the sources itself and it happens in APA, MLA, CBE, Harvard, Chicago Manual style and so on.
An annotation is s summary or an evaluation. As such, the annotated bibliography must include summarize, establish credibility, and show the relevance of a text. It is important to consult your instructor to ascertain if there is a need to add any more information or if there are limitations to the assignment.

When writing your annotated bibliography, ensure that:

  • It establishes credibility
    The audience must know that the source and the author are credible. You can identify any institution with which the author is affiliated or employed. You have to also identify a journal that is reputable or the method of publication associated with the author. You also have to look for peer-reviewed journal s that have been selected and approved by a panel of professionals in that field.
  • Summarize the work
    Identify and state the purpose of the work using headings, chapters, titles and so on. This is what you use as references to your discussion or the organization and allows you as well as the audience to quickly trace the information within the source.
  • Show similarity and diversity among sources
    You must show how source details or contents compare to another source in your bibliography. This is achieved by the use of rhetorical modes of thinking, which involves comparison and contrast definition, narration, cause and effect, problem and solution, classification and description.
  • Establish relevance
    The writer must the relationship between the source and the research-in-progress.

Reading a book for your Annotated Bibliography

  • You can print out the catalog page or copy that page that contains library book information
  • Identify all materials of documentation on the text and write your documentation in the first place.
  • You can scan the preface, the front contents and back pages for information pertaining to the author. This enables you to establish credibility.
  • It is also important to scan the table of content and the index of books to locate your topic and see the organization of the contents. The introduction and conclusion, as well as relevant pages in the body, are also essential to read. Locate the author’s thesis statement and structure in the introduction. They are essential in creating a summary.
  • Think about the role of the content that aligns with your topic, and where it applies me your research. This is what you will use to demonstrate relevance.

Reading shorter works for your annotated bibliography

  • You can possibly print out the entire work or save the files to a flash drive or a disc. Try to select peer-reviewed journals and professional websites as your sources.
  • Write your documentation first by identifying all the documentation material on the text.
  • You can scan the preface, the front contents, as well as the back pages of the journal. This also includes the beginning and the end of the article for information that pertains to the author. By so doing, you establish credibility. If none of that is available, a web search of the author would suffice especially if you want to know where they work as well as their publications.
  • As you read the article, pay attention to the introduction and conclusion to identify the author’s thesis statement as well as any headings. They are essential in creating your summary.
  • Anything relevant to your topic ought to be considered, as well as its application and the support it provides to your research. This is what you will use to show relevance.

Annotated bibliography formatting reminders

  • Annotated bibliography uses the same alphabetization as a standard Reference List, Works Cited, or Bibliography. It used the lead author’s last name, and if there is no author, the first word of the title. However, you should not use articles a, an, or the.
  • They are single-spaced although there are those that require double space. You can skip once space between the documentation and the first line paragraph indentation for your annotation. This makes it easier to read.
  • Your paragraph should be a ½ inch and you are supposed to use hanging dentition for your documentation and annotation. Every bibliographic entry must appear on a new page. If there is a different format, your instructor should let you know in the preliminary stages, or even you can find out from him.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

Abstracts often come at the beginning of scholarly journal articles and periodical indexes. They are usually descriptive summaries. On the other hand, annotations are descriptive and critical since they describe the author’s perspective, authority, or clarity, and appropriateness of the expression.

Importance of annotated bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies are important in as much as they would look ordinary. It is an essential part of any research paper and if your instructor has requested it, it is your job to ensure that you have included it. Academic papers make a point to the reader and as such, the reference used by the writer must support the argument and add more credibility to the pointy he is making.

The professor to assess if the student has understood the question researched all the necessary information and used relevant facts that come from credible sources uses annotated bibliographies. A student must use annotated bibliography to demonstrate his seriousness about the work. Annotated bibliographies provide information of the quoted text and a research paper or any other academic writing.

The researcher gets a chance to delve into the work that has previously dwelt on the subject. This enables to identify the position of his paper in the larger context. To argue out points, the writer must engage in research and as such, they require relevant information that provides a strong foot for debate. The research paper uses the annotated bibliography to further argue a point and drive the point home.

They help the researcher to identify everything that relates to his topic. The internet is laden with many bibliographic sources and databases that have examples of annotated bibliographies. All these assist the student in identifying the best way to come up with their annotated bibliographies for his paper.

Looking at it at face value, coming up with an annotated bibliography is easy. In a real sense, you have to take careful consideration because it is tricky to come up with an effective annotated bibliography. The instructor can require the student to write his bibliography based on APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago manual style and so on. As such, the student must know the guidelines of writing annotated bibliographies for the style preferred by the instructor. It is an essential skill especially if the student wants to become a competent academic writer.

Annotated bibliography formatting reminders

Note that all the fields used below come once, they vary depending on the type of annotated bibliography, and the instructions provided by the professor in case it is part of the assignment.

  • The full bibliographic citation which must contain the full bibliographical information
  • Author’s background which includes name, authority, experience or his qualifications
  • Author’s purpose which gives the reasons as to why the work was written
  • The scope of the work
  • Main argument
  • Audience
  • Methodology
  • Point of view
  • Sources
  • Reliability of the source
  • Conclusion
  • Features
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Comparison
  • Your personal conclusion

It is crucial to note that the annotations for each source are written in paragraph form. The length of these annotations can vary depending on the purpose. If you are summarizing the sources, the annotations may not be lengthy, but if you are extensively analyzing each source, you will need more space. Your annotation can focus on your own needs. You can have a few sentences that are a general summary and subsequent sentences that show how you can fit the work in the larger paper to serve you well when you draft. That is how you deal with annotated bibliographies.