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Guide to understanding and creating annotated bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography? An annotated bibliography is a list of references to books, articles, and documents you have read for this assignment. Each reference is followed by a brief (approximately 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph - the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

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What is the difference between an abstract and an annotation? An abstract is a short paragraph found at the beginning of a research article. The abstract is a brief summary of the research focus, methodology, findings and conclusions. A well-written abstract can quickly help the reader decide if they wish to read the rest of the article and whether it is useful for their purposes.

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Why do an annotated bibliography? One of the reasons behind citing sources and compiling a reference list and bibliography is so that you can prove you have done some valid research to back up your argument and claims. The reader can refer to a reference in your bibliography and then go look up the material themselves. A bibliography provides a list of research sources of all types, that includes publishing information, but how much does that really tell a researcher or potential reader about the sources themselves?

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What does an annotated bibliography do? A good annotated bibliography • encourages you to think critically about the sources you are finding, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas. • proves you have read and understand your sources. • establishes you as a competent researcher.

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How do I create an annotated bibliography? Step 1. Provide complete source information Begin by providing the complete citation in the referencing style you have been asked to use. Guides to the Harvard, APA, MLA and Running notes styles of referencing are available on the Library web page:

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Example Modood, T., Berthoud, R., Lakey, J., Nazroo, J., Smith, P., Virdee, S. and Belshon, S. (1997) Ethnic minorities in Britain: diversity and disadvantage. London: Policy Studies Institute.

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Step 2. Summarise the relevant information In the annotation, summarise the central theme and scope of the article. The annotation should be a mixture of description and evaluation. Include one or more sentences that say why the source is interesting or useful to you, or why it is not. In doing this, you should list what kind of and how much information is given; in short, evaluate the source’s usefulness to your research.

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Example This report is based on the fourth national survey carried out by the Policy Studies Institute and it provides a comprehensive account of the experiences of ethnic minorities since the 1960s. The series of papers covers a range of key issues which have had a major impact on the experiences of ethnic minorities. Some of the most significant changes reported, relate to changes in demography, family and household structure, socio-economic position, cultural identity, health, education employment and experiences of racial harassment. Very useful in that it discusses the differences between race and ethnicity, with a breakdown of the minority communities into their main ethnicities. Inter-generational conflict is a major theme in the report, with the majority of young people feeling the conflicting demands of dual cultural contexts and multiple identities. Significantly, an increasing number of British-born Muslims increasingly selfidentify as Muslim rather than by their ethnic heritage or group. Information services - connect with us


A Guide to Understanding and Creating Annotated Bibliographies  

Study guide on how to compile annotated bibliographies, for the Social Science students.