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Literature Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography:

Sometimes people confused Literature Reviews with Annotated Bibliographies but they are quite different in format but they are similar in purpose, to survey the literature.

So what is a annotated bibliography? "... is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 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.” Definition from Cornell University Library, available at http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/skill28.htm <Accessed September 26, 2011>

To write a good annotated bibliography you need to be:

  • Concise: Go to the point of what is the book/article about, in few words, summarize.
  • Evaluative: Determine who is the author, what is his/her expertise in the topic, how reliable is the information
  • Critical: Reflect on what is the strength and weakness of the work, what is missing, etc.
  • Comparative: how each piece review compares to other similar works

Useful site with tips on how to write an Annotated Bibliography:

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Ed Oetting
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