The goal of an annotated bibliography is to learn about your topic, especially when preparing for a research project. Collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you are required to read each source more carefully. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being “said” about your topic; in other words, what are the “conversations” taking place/surrounding your topic? By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you will start to see what the issues are and what people are arguing; then, you will be able to develop your own point of view.
Your annotated bibliography should contain the following three sections:
Below is an example of an Annotated Bibliography entry:
Holland, S. (2019). The human embryonic stem cell debate: Science, ethics, and public policy. Boston: MIT P.
This is the annotation of the above source. If one were really writing an annotation for this source, one would offer a brief summary of what this book says about stem cell research.
After summarizing, you can now reflect on this source. Does it seem like a reliable and current source? Why? Is the research biased or objective? Are the facts well documented? Who is the author? Is she/he credible?How does it fit into your research? Is this a helpful resource? Too general/specific? The length of your annotation will depend on the assignment or on the purpose of your annotated bibliography.
Here are additional resources to help you with crafting your Annotated Bibliography.