An annotated bibliography provides summary and evaluation of source material collected on a specific topic or research question. Sometimes the annotated bibliography is an independent project – designed primarily to map out the research available on a topic. Other times it is used as part of a larger writing project.
The first step is to understand the main components and formatting requirements for an annotated bibliography. And second, we will look at a template for producing an annotated bibliography.
Formatting the Annotated Bibliography
An entry for an annotated bibliography contains 2 components: the Citation and the Annotation.
|Annotated Bibliography – Components for One Entry|
Use the style suitable to your course or field of study.
For this course, we are using the APA style.
An annotation is usually a 100-300-word paragraph.
It includes the following information:
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On The Horizon, 9(5). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20 Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Producing an Annotated Bibliography
In its final form, an annotated bibliography opens with a brief introduction, explaining the overall topic or research question and clearly indicating the scope and focus of the research. Then, it provides a list of entries, with the full citation and annotation.
Let’s build part of an annotated bibliography for this research question:
Digital technology influences how we gain access to information and how we communicate with other people. In the 21st century, what skills will be essential?
First, complete an introduction to the annotated bibliography. Use the headings in the template to guide you.
Then, complete one sample entry for the article: “Why We Need to Teach 21st Century Skills – And How to Do it.” If you haven’t yet read it, the article is available online here.