The quality and usefulness of your bibliography will depend on your selection of sources. Define the scope of your research carefully to make sound judgments about what you include and exclude.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents that follows the appropriate style format for the discipline (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc). Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 word) descriptive and evaluative paragraph -- the annotation. Unlike abstracts, which are purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes, annotations are descriptive and critical.
The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. The annotation exposes the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
How do I create an annotated bibliography?
Include one or more sentences that:
o evaluate the authority or background of the author,
o comment on the intended audience,
o compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
o explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.
The annotation should include most, if not all, of the following elements:
An annotated bibliography is an original work created by you for a wider audience, usually faculty and colleagues. Copying any of the above elements from the source and including it in your annotated bibliography is plagiarism and intellectual dishonesty.
The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010) for the journal citation.
Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.
This example uses MLA style (MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation.
Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554.
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