Annotated bibliography writing involves the detailed listing all secondary sources that may be used in a research or which may have already been used. An annotated bibliography writing exercise is supposed to form a blue print of the research process and how the researcher is supposed to go through his or her sources in locating the relevant material. Annotated bibliography writing may include sources such as online sites, books, peer reviewed journals, periodicals and magazines among many others.
The exercise of annotated bibliography writing is very similar to the actual writing of a bibliography at the end of any academic literary work. However, there is a slight difference between the annotated bibliography and an actual bibliography list that is incorporated at the end of any research or academic paper. This is because annotated bibliography writing not only includes the list of the sources to be cited, but it also includes a short and concise description of the sources and its relevance and anticipated contribution to the research. Annotated bibliography writing offers a concise summary of a source whilst evaluating its significance and amount of contribution that it may be able to make into the research.
Annotated bibliography writing actually does three things at ago, listing, assessing and summarizing of a sources content. It is a simpler way to guide the reader on how to conduct a similar experiment in the topic of interest that the annotated material highlights. Annotated bibliography writing may take various forms of scholarly writing styles such as AMA, MLA, APA and many more depending on the choice of the author of the annotated bibliography. Annotated bibliography offers a summary of all the concepts, ideas and arguments that may be presented within any source. This is actually followed by an evaluation of the content.
The evaluation of the content is meant to help the user of the annotated bibliography to determine whether a certain source is appropriate for use in a particular research. Thus it is good to note that not all sources that are cited within a written annotated bibliography will be put to use when writing a research paper or conduction of a particular research. In actual sense some of the sources may be discarded in favor of others, and others may be incorporated at a later stage. The relative importance of sources within the annotated bibliography should also be considered, thus apart from singular evaluations sources could also be comparatively compared in terms of relative beneficial information that they provide. Additionally, while evaluating a source in annotated bibliography writing the author of the annotated bibliography writing should state the stand of the source in relation to a certain issue i.e. s/he should state whether the source was biased or not in handling a certain topic or question.
Annotated bibliography writing that happens after a research has been conducted should firmly state how helpful or unhelpful a source has been in the actual process of conducting the actual research. It is however good to not that not all of these requirements should be included because the inclusions are specifically stipulated by the assigning authority that offers the exercise. Therefore, the student should be keen to include all that is required of him whilst avoiding what may be deemed as unnecessary in the exercise of annotated bibliography writing.