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Annotated Bibliography Creation: Complexities and Tips to Overcome Them

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If you have received a task to compose a list of references with short abstract for each of them at the first time, then, for sure, you should know what it is and the main rules to create it. Many undergraduates regard such type of academic task as insignificant and being beneath notice. However, such attitude toward a bibliography making process can play Old Harry with one’s marks in the end. Nevertheless, you can overcome possible problems by reading this article exactly dedicated to the main tips helping to write the bibliography.

Sample to Follow

Here is a sample of AB for you, which contains typical information which is generally accepted for text organization.

(All names and information are invented)

McCain, A., Pecker, R., & Ruthshild, B. (2014). The influence of format on overall work perception, Journal of Unknown Authors, 10(2), 23-78. The authors, at the Grey University, use information from the surveys performed by Linguistic Institute of World to put to the proof of their hypothesis that there is big interdependence between the quality of paper format and the mark got for the whole project. They found the justification of their hypothesis by testing two academic groups for a half of the year; in the end, the group paying more attention to the formatting invariably got higher marks than the second one. In contrast, the investigation of Lunghof mentioned above showed that there was no a big difference between two attitudes to the paper format. Consequently, it is important to compare the factors under which the two types of research were conducted.

Sandberg L. & Roy, J. (2015). Modern science: Myths about Paper Formatting. UK, London: PGS Publishing House. This is a book written by two scholars. It gathers main information regarding different paper formats. The authors compare their development in the course of time, reveal main misconceptions, and give hints on how to avoid typical mistakes. Some parts of the book are dedicated to the personal pieces of research of Sandberg and Roy where they tried to figure out the usage frequency of one or another format. This book greatly contributes to the overall understanding of formatting in general and, particularly, for current research being a reliable scientific basis.

More Precise Insight

An annotated bibliography (AB) is a list of all sources used or planning to be used in your main work. Yet, it is not a List of References as far as the AB provides a brief discussion of the mentioned sources, while the List of References just enumerates them. Every such discussion has its own purpose, which is determined according to the requirements of a student’s project paper. In that regard, the AB can:

  • give a short description of the source;
  • summarize its main ideas;
  • assess the mentioned source in general and specifically for the current project;
  • evaluate how much the source is useful for current research/paper.

Moreover, such list can serve even as an abstract, giving a general idea about a book or an article, in this way making us decide whether to read further this source or not. Not each but many annotations can include even all above-mentioned points.

Nevertheless, today, there are two main kinds of AB:

  1. Descriptive (looks like an abstract which purpose is to inform a reader);
  2. Analytical (contains a critical element, evaluates the source’s content, and shows its pros and cons).

Writing Process Tips

Man Got the Idea

Personal Skills

To compose a brilliant AB, an undergraduate has to utilize various intellectual skills:

  • Being able to provide a readable and succinct text;
  • Being able to perform a terse analysis;
  • Being conversant enough to manage a literature exploration.

General Overview

After you determined the sources to include, the first step of creating the AB is to write the citations of books, journals, etc.

Remember that all the sources chosen have to contain useful information applicable directly to your research or being related to its topic at least somehow. The books and articles have to enlarge the prospects and complement your project. Do not include the sources just to increase the general quantity of them.

Mind the Structure

While you are writing the AB, think over the structure. It means that you have to decide on the aim of both your project and references’ description. Think out the phrases that will:

  1. estimate the author’s education and weight in scientific society;
  2. indicate the target audience;
  3. juxtapose the book/article with another one from your list;
  4. elucidate how this book/article complements your exploration.

! Keep in mind that each item of annotation has to be around 150 words without a source citation.

Choose the Style

When it goes about the style, it is better to consult to your tutor to avoid possible mistakes by making the format randomly. Remind that there are various formats.

  • The most popular are APA and MLA,
  • Harvard is preferable for more substantial works (e.g., dissertation),
  • Chicago and Turabian are used not so frequently, still, they do not have to be mixed up with other formats.

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