WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) description and evaluation of the source -- the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise writing, succinct analysis, and informed library research.
First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
Second, cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
Third, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme of your source. Include:
· An evaluation of the authority or background of the author
· A comment on the intended audience
· Explain how this work illuminates your research topic
SAMPLE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE
The following example uses the MLA format for the journal citation.
Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family
Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
Source: Adapted from “The Annotated Bibliography.” Research & Learning Services, Olin Library. Cornell University Library. Ithaca, NY, USA