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What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. In an annotated bibliography each citation is followed by a descriptive and evaluative paragraph, which is called an annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to examine the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source cited. 

Cornell Libraries (2015) How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved from: http://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography

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What is the Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?

To help define the focus of your research topic.

To identify research already conducted in your field of interest, find gaps in existing scholarship, and avoid repetition of previous research.

To become familiar with significant earlier research and with current progress and/or controversy in your field of interest.

To assess the experts, theoretical approaches, methodologies, results, conclusions, and possible opportunities for future research in your field of interest.

To prepare for a larger research project.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

Literature Review vs. Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies and literature reviews are highly useful for constructing your research project. Both provide an examination of relevant scholarly work pertaining to a specific topic, but there are also significant differences between them.