I. What is an annotated bibliography?
It is a list of citations (in a standard format) to sources with brief notes (annotations) explaining (and perhaps evaluating) the quality of each source.
- A citation is the precise information needed to locate an item
- An annotation tells with brevity what the source contains and its usefulness.
II. Citation Information:
- MLA (Modern Language Association) - used by the Follett Cataloging System, and therefore useful in compiling bibliographies using its patented 'Bookbag' feature; acceptable here at Bryn Mawr.
- APS, Chicago Style, Turabian, etc-other standards that are popular in the U.S.
- Main idea: provide enough information for another person to find the exact source used and cited by the author. Elements include author, title, place of publication, publisher, date (for book); author, title, journal title, volume, year (for journal); author, title, publisher and website address and date accessed for Internet site.
III. Sources may be found in many formats:
- Books (including reference books)
- Magazines, a.k.a. journals, periodicals, newspapers
- Internet sites (freebies)
- Electronic databases (not freebies; usually require passwords)
- Audiovisual materials
- Miscellaneous -- pamphlets, reports, transcripts of court proceedings, interview transcripts, transcribed phone conversations, etc.
IV. Sources for library research may be found in...
- Library catalog
- Electronic databases
- Periodical indexes
- Lists of readings, bibliographies, notes from sources already found
- Purpose: who was this source written for?
- Form: book, article, cassette tape, etc.
- Arrangement: organization of the material -- is there a table of contents, an index, and list of chapters, bibliographic notes, a bibliography or list of sources?
- Are the author(s), editor(s) or publisher(s) authorities in their fields? Can you tell?
- Currency: how up-to-date is the material?(Be careful here -- some books retain value for a long time; a book copyrighted in 2002 may be much less useful and well-written than one written in 1980)
VI. Writing Style for Annotations
Last updated: March 2007
- Brevity is the soul of the good annotation
- Pithy (meaningful) it should be too, as Yoda might say
- When in doubt, use full sentences. Phrases are also acceptable if specified by teacher.