This assignment type asks you to summarise a source, such as an article or book chapter.
Some assignment instructions may ask you to focus on other aspects of the source as well, such as research methodologies.
Each entry in an annotated bibliography begins with a full reference. Each source type (journal article, book chapter, website, etc) has slightly different formatting.
A note-taking grid can help you organise content from readings before you start writing your annotated bibliography.
You can create a grid like this for any assignment. Here’s a downloadable template you can use to get started.
Journals are collections of articles which focus on particular topics. These articles are published periodically, such as four times a year. One common purpose of an article is to report on new research. For an annotated bibliography, journal articles can provide you with up-to-date content on topics you have to write or talk about. To efficiently read journal articles, you need to:
Information on the first page of the article will often help you decide if you should read further.
Abstracts are particularly good for quickly deciding if the content matches what you need for your assignment. They are usually organised into distinctive parts that provide an overview of the whole article.
It is not always necessary to read the whole article. Two common shortcuts are:
Scanning: Use section headings of the article to find specific kinds of information.
Top and tail reading: slowly read the introduction section and then the conclusion to get a more detailed overview.
Journal articles commonly have distinctive parts (eg, Abstract, Literature Review, Discussion…). Each part has a clear function, which helps you to find specific information. (You may not need to read the whole thing.)
An annotated bibliography requires you to paraphrase key content from readings, such as findings in research articles.
Paraphrasing means that you: