If you are required to have an annotated bibliography in your writing assignment deadlines then the first question that you need to be sure of is what an annotated bibliography actually is. When we talk about an annotated bibliography we are referring to the account that is given for any research that has been conducted on a particular topic. An annotated bibliography has to be created in alphabetical order. This kind of bibliography will need to provide a short summary to have what each source is and how to value the source holds. An annotated bibliography contains a citation which is followed by a short paragraph.
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How to choose your sources
The sources that you choose to add to your bibliography will affect the overall relevance and quality of your bibliography. The research that you have done needs to be comprehensive and clear. When it comes to our research consider the below points:
- What materials do you need? For your research do you require journals, academic or maybe government documentation?
- Have you found important studies related to your topic? If you have found any useful research related to your topic then remember to read any footnotes that are present so that you become aware of what sources have been used. Ideally, you want to look out for studies that have been used by multiple sources.
- What question are you trying to answer? If the project you are undertaking is related to research then it’s likely that this question will be research-related. If on the other hand, you are conducting an independent project on a topic that is not specific, then you need to perhaps consider creating a few questions so that you can be more specific.
Outlining the argument related to a source
Annotations summarise the crux of the source. The job of the annotation is to highlight the purpose of the research as well as the methods used in the investigation and the conclusion that’s been formed. Always remember that when you point out why you have used a specific source, it is different from just listing the contents. An annotation needs to highlight the reason for why the contents are present.
How to spot the argument in a source
When it comes to spotting that argument in your source the below tips can help:
- Look at how a theory is used to analyze the data and evidence. Be sure to spot what method is used to get to the bottom of the question.
- Look for sections where the argument has been outlined. This can usually be found at the start or end of a paragraph.
- Establish the research question or the author’s purpose. The conclusion and the introduction can help you to identify this.
- Take a look at how the text has been organized and has been presented. Consider what aspects have been emphasized and how the text has been put into sections.
- Pay close attention to any key ideas or terms that have been used. Look for these throughout the text and notice how the author uses them. It is especially important to focus on how these ideas and terms are used in the thesis of the text.
- With each paragraph, consider the opening sentence. Usually, an author will highlight the crux in this section.
Evaluating the value and relevance of a source
The next part of your annotated bibliography needs to look at assessing the value and relevance of a source when it comes to your research question. If your annotated bibliography is related to writing a research paper with it, then you’ll need to highlight how the source will be used and why it has been used. If, on the other hand, your annotated bibliography refers to an independent project you will need to point out how the source contributed to the topic that you have researched. Consider the points below:
- How do the conclusions of the source support your research and investigation?
- Does the source that you use to analyze specific evidence that you plan to use?
- Does the source create new ways of looking at the question at hand?
For you to be able to decide how you plan to use the source or outline how it contributes, you need to be able to:
- Consider if the method used to investigate is actually effective
- Take a close look at if the argument it makes has value and if so how it has value.
- The conclusions that have been made from the evidence, do you agree with them and come to the same conclusions?
- Consider if there are any constraints.
- Is the evidence actually any good?
- Finally, bear in mind is whether or not the problem that is being researched is apparent.
- Begin by identifying citations that are relevant to your topic from periodicals, books, magazines, websites, newspapers, etc. Review this information and select the sources that provide different perspectives on your topic.
- Cite the source and make sure you use the style that is required.
- Write an annotation that is concise and summarises the main theme of the source used.
- Be sure to add a sentence that evaluates the authority of your author. Compare and contrast the work with other work they have cited.
- Complete by highlighting how the work enhancers work.
Useful verbs to use when referring to sources
- Account for
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