Instead of writing about the whole content of a source ask yourself why the content is presented, and how and why the author has addressed your research topic.
Familiarise yourself with the complete text of the source but focus on the Introduction and Conclusion sections which clarify the intent of the text and discuss the research results.
As you read the text note down the key terms, theories and main ideas and consider how they relate to the source’s field of research.
The following questions can help you form the basis of your evaluation:
It is important to note there is a difference between an annotation and an abstract.
Abstracts are descriptive summaries of a text. Their purpose is to help readers make a quick decision about whether reading the whole text will assist their research.
Annotations include information about the source and its evaluation. They inform about the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources in relation to the research topic.
Depending on the intended purpose of an Annotated Bibliography, an annotation may be presented in one of the following formats:
1. Descriptive or informative
This type of annotation provides an overview of the main points, arguments, and conclusions presented by the source without evaluating.
This can include:
2. Analytical or critical
This type of annotation evaluates the source’s strengths and weaknesses and its relationship to the specific field of research.
This can include:
This approach is the most common type of Annotated Bibliography as it incorporates elements of the descriptive and analytical annotation types. Thus, in addition to a summary of the principal ideas of the source, the annotation provides an evaluation of its strengths and weakness to indicate the quality of the source and relevance to the research topic.This kind of annotation usually begins with broad comments on the focus of the source, then moves to more details followed by evaluative comments.
When writing annotations it is important to consider the following:
Please consult with your lecturer or tutor for more specific guidelines on how to present the annotation.