The first bibliography was created in a far 200 BC by a known Greek poet Callimachus. Modern bibliography requires many trustworthy sources to prove often controversial and unpopular arguments. In fact, an annotated bibliography is one of the most complicated types of academic assignments. In the same time, this kind of paper allows both finding and checking reliable sources and getting into the source content.
Annotated Bibliography Definition
An annotated bibliography is aimed at describing the content of a particular book, article or source briefly. You are dealing with bibliography when writing a blog, where metadata plays the role of the mentioned annotated bibliography. This short text informs readers about the material and allows them to decide whether to continue reading or not.
An annotated bibliography has two main types:
The certain type of bibliography to use is often assigned by a tutor or professor.
Difference between Annotation and Abstract
An abstract summarizes content, thus it is often included in various articles, academic works, etc. Mostly, an abstract is used in order to summarize methods used and findings. An annotation brings more information and research data since it provides descriptive content, critical thoughts, and other expended information. In addition, an annotation shows the relationships of the checked source with other important sources.
Annotated Bibliography Features
A bibliography contains a list of sources, but it reveals various content. Annotation evaluates the material helping readers to find out whether the source of material is relevant or not.
In the same time, an annotated bibliography has a different purpose than a simple abstract or an outline. It serves for several reasons, including the following ones:
- Helps to review the source.
- Allows providing background information with outlined main thesis.
- Helps to demonstrate an impressive research work conducted.
- Provides various examples related to the main topic.
- Helps readers to choose whether to continue reading or not.
You can use an annotated bibliography’s benefits once working on your project, exploring, reviewing, or formulating various arguments for your paper.
Main Types of Annotations
There are two main types of annotations:
- Informative or descriptive.
- Critical or analytical.
The use of the exact type of an annotated bibliography depends on the assigned paper format.
Informative or Descriptive Annotation
The descriptive annotation has something familiar with a simple abstract since provides a summary of the material. In the same time, it provides a few arguments and conclusions.
Here is an example:
The analyzed article’s title: Long-Term Effects Of Marijuana on the Brain by Joshua Gowin, Pd.D.
Joshua Gowin provides a report on the legalization of marijuana in the United States of America and reveals the increased number of addicted people. Gowin describes in details the way THC is captivated by human cells, showing the long period of THC staying within the cells and influencing the development of the human brains. This article provides the analyzed data and information about the influence of marijuana over a human’s brain and body, and the ways people get addicted. The author bases his research on the works of popular researchers, including Andrew Zalesky from the Melbourne University in Australia. The entire research project reveals the concert about the results of the legalization of marijuana in the United States.
The descriptive annotation differs from a critical by the way the author stays neutral once providing own opinions. Neutrality is the main feature of the informative (descriptive) annotation.
Critical or Analytical Annotation
This type of annotation remains more complicated annotation version. It contains critical opinions, thus the writer needs to conduct a critical analysis in order to complete a critical annotation.
There are the main elements to include into a critical annotation:
- The qualifications of the author;
- A bibliographic citation;
- A short summary of central structural elements;
- A target audience analysis;
- The author’s analysis, with points of views and opinions;
- The relationship of the main source to other sources;
- List of solutions and findings;
- Some additional information (tools used, surveys, comments, etc.).
Here is an example:
In this article, uploaded from the online source Psychology Today, the writer Joshua Gowin, Ph.D., reveals the research results and data that proves the fact that the legalization of marijuana in the United States has increased the number of addicted people. He also outlines that this article is a first in a three-part series. The conclusions of the author are based on the results of another researcher’s work – Andrew Zalesky from the Melbourne University in Australia. The target audience of this article includes students, adults, and people interested in the discovered topic. The author provides his information statistically, providing information, and revealing no emotional connection to the topic. The article is aimed at showing teens and adults how dangerous can be the use of marijuana. Joshua Gowin provides no precise information or data related to the legalization of marijuana or new information about the researched topic. The online source Psychology Today, even once providing an article with a topic important for a society, does not contain materials with precise data, figures or research results.
Writing an Annotated Bibliography
When you need to write an annotated bibliography, first you need to find your analyzed sources and citations from them. Check the formatting styles to provide proper citations. Further, you need to review the chosen sources and write down the main information. Thus, note down the author’s name, his qualification, and estimate the type of the article finalizing, whether neutral or biased. With this carefully prepared information, you can start writing an annotated bibliography. Use an outline to keep a proper structure of the paper. Try to think about the analyzed source, organize your ideas properly, and use your writing skills to perform great-annotated bibliography. Always check the proper format of the paper and citation style to complete a perfect paper. Use various examples available online to help you with a writing process.