Writing an Annotated Bibliography


This video will introduce you to how to write
an annotated bibliography. At some time during your studies at university, it is likely that
you will be asked to write an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is essentially a
list of sources with a brief note, (or annotation), summarizing each item on the list. The main difference between it and a ‘Works
Cited’ reference list, is that you would normally complete one before you start writing
your research paper. For some students, the annotated bibliography
is a stand-alone assignment. But for others, it’s just one stage of a larger project,
to be used as a reference tool as you complete your research paper. Annotated bibliographies let others know what
the key sources are on a particular topic. They’re important because:
they help you to see how different sources fit together to shape your research they remind you to give credit where credit
is due in order to avoid plagiarism they often help you to verify facts which
adds credibility to your own research path, but more importantly, an annotated bibliography
demonstrates your research progress! Creating a bibliography is pretty straight
forward since it’s a record of the sources you’ve chosen, in the style that your course
instructor has selected. However, this process involves setting aside
time to research for a wide variety of perspectives on your topic. The quality of your annotated
bibliography will depend on the selection of your sources. Your course instructor probably has specific
instructions for exactly what the annotations should include and how long each one should
be, so make sure you read your assignment carefully. Generally speaking, each annotation should
be about 150 – 200 words long and can: assess the source’s strengths and weaknesses
give an outline the main arguments provide background information about the author
describe how the source is relevant to your topic Annotated bibliographies remind you why you
selected a certain source, why it’s relevant, and even whether or not you agreed or disagreed
with its main arguments, so it’s best to get started compiling your list of sources
early and writing your own annotations. Thank you for watching. If you need additional
help, please come and visit us at the research help desk on the main floor of the library
or contact your subject specialist from the Research Help section of the library website.

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