Level: Advanced (Undergraduate and Graduate)
The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to summarize your understanding of a number of texts on a given topic. It usually includes a 1 page introduction in which you explain the purpose, content and organizational pattern. It is then followed by a number of summaries (non-evaluative) of texts you have read, including a citation.
The summaries which make up your annotated bibliography could be extremely useful to you in your future research projects for a number of reasons:
- They provide a snapshot of your understanding of the text at the time, which could allow you to reflect on how you interpret the text now, and how your thoughts and ideas have or haven’t changed over time
- You can use parts of the summaries in research papers, and thus save yourself valuable time writing.
- The summaries allow you to think about how multiple texts may be interconnected in themes or perspectives
- Finally, you’ll also save valuable time composing a reference section to a research paper by having the citations written down already in the annotated bibliography, simply copy and paste
Here is an example of an annotated bibliography about Twitter and the Iranian Protests. It is organized in chronological order and uses MLA style.
Here is another example of an annotated bibliography about Twitter, social networking & communities of practice, which is organized alphabetically by author.