Students are familiar with bibliographies. 

They understand the importance of citing all references correctly, by listing authors, titles, publishers, editors, dates of publication etc., in a variety of format styles.  The annotated bibliography, however, is something encountered at the upper university and graduate school levels, and it requires a wholly different process and approach.  In fact, all major literature reviews for works of research will probably require an annotated bibliography. 

For those unfamiliar with an annotated bibliography, the prospect of creating one may be a bit daunting.  For purposes of definition, and annotated bibliography is a resource reference that includes not only the basic information of a standard bibliography but, as well, a paragraph annotation that provides, at the very least a short summary of the content of the resource and, at the most an evaluation of the resource as relevant and important to the research work that has been produced.

The annotated bibliography that includes a summary must be carefully and thoughtfully written.  In one paragraph, the writer must attempt to provide enough information so that another researcher may determine if this resource would relate to his/her own research.  The relevance of the resource must be delineated and yet there must be enough information to properly summarize the work.

A more comprehensive annotated bibliography will include a summary of the work, but as well speak to the relevance, integrity, and efficacy of the resource.  Does the resource provide enough research data to be reliable?  Does the resource provide objectivity or is it riddled with subjectivity that cannot be validated?  These evaluative judgments will allow a future researcher to determine the relevance of the resource to his/her own project.

The following annotated bibliography tips might prove helpful to the novice:

  1. Read the annotated bibliographies of others.  These will provide good models for one’s own production.
  2. Write a summary of the resource, without regard to length.  Then go through the summary and consolidate, eliminating extraneous information and combining thoughts that may be redundant.  The objective is to reduce the summary to a single paragraph.
  3. If your annotation requires evaluative judgment, spend some time reflecting on the importance of the resource to your work.  Did it provide substantive information and/or data that you actually used?  How much did the resource actually contribute to the research question or hypothesis you established?  These are questions that will allow you to form a sound judgment on the resource.
  4. When producing the annotated bibliography it is important to follow the required format style required by the professor or institution.

Inexperienced students may find the task of annotated bibliography writing a bit of a challenge.  Often, professors will assign annotated bibliographies as single stand-alone assignments, just to give students experience in producing them.  Such exercise and practice can be invaluable, and the more a student produces, the better s/he becomes at the task. 

Research works that require annotated bibliographies are generally significant works on which the student has spent months of time.  It is particularly frustrating, then, when the prospect of creating an annotated bibliography stalls the work’s completion.  At this point, it is time to see some annotated bibliography help from professionals who have years of experience creating them.  Such professionals are available at ESSAYTHINKER.COM!  We have a team of Ph.D. academics from a variety of disciplines who can provide the expert assistance you need in creating an annotated bibliography.  Some students come to us with a “blank slate,” having not yet begun their bibliographies; others are in the process but require an expert to finish and polish what has been started.  No matter where you are in the production of your bibliography we can assign a content-specific Ph.D. expert to provide whatever type of annotated bibliography help you may need.  Contact us today and let us take this final burden of your work “off your plate.”

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