What are Annotated Bibliographies?
What is an annotated bibliography?
A bibliography, sometimes referred to as a 'reference list', is the alphabetical list of sources (e.g., books, journal/magazine articles, web sites) used in writing a research paper. Each source in a bibliography (i.e., reference list) is represented by a citation which includes the source's author, title, and publication information.
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of citations with an additional description or evaluation (i.e., annotation) for each source. Each annotation should be no more than 150 words (4-6 sentences long). Annotations should be concise and well written.
The purpose of an annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source.
Annotations versus Abstracts
Abstracts are brief summaries often found at the beginning of articles that present the main points of the work. They are not intended to evaluate the article.
Annotations go beyond summarizing the content of an article. Annotations can be descriptive or evaluative, or a combination of both. A descriptive annotation summarizes the scope and content of a work. An evaluative annotation provides critical comment.
Contents of an annotation
An annotation can contain some or all of the following:
- Main focus or purpose of the work
- Intended audience of the work
- Usefulness or relevance to your research topic (or why it did not meet your research needs)
- Special features of the work: statistics, illustrations, reference list
- Background and qualifications of the author
- Conclusions reached by the author
- Conclusions or observations reached by you
Bruffee, K. A. (1994). The art of collaborative learning: Making the most of knowledgeable peers.Change, 26(3), 39-44.
One of the leading experts on collaborative learning provides a more personal story of how peer collaboration has helped and encouraged him in his professional writing. Bruffee discusses the advantages of learning in a community over learning in isolation, particularly when people are learning how to make good judgments. The development of trust and the granting of authority are also examined as crucial aspects of effective collaborative learning. An introspective and somewhat philosophical look at what it means to collaborate.
Davis, R. (1991). Learning how to learn: Technology, the seven multiple intelligences and learning. Paper presented at the Spring CUE Conference, Palm Springs, CA, May 11, 1991. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED338214)
Davis reviews a number of educational software programs to support learning through the seven multiple intelligences. He uses Snooper Troops as an example and enumerates activities that highlight each of the intelligences. Although the activities for musical intelligence are weak, I have used this software in conjunction with songwriting to list the clues musically.
LeCompte, M. D., Millroy, W. L., & Preissle, J. (Eds.). (1992). The handbook of qualitative research in education. San. Diego: Academic Press.
A compilation of the range of methodological and theoretical qualitative inquiry in the human sciences and education research. Numerous contributing authors apply their expertise to discussing a wide variety of issues pertaining to educational and humanities research as well as suggestions about how to deal with problems when conducting research.