Annotated Bibliography

  • What is an Annotated Bibliography?

    A bibliography is a list of sources, such as books, journal articles and websites on a particular topic. An annotation is a short summary of the contents of each source.

    Summary or Descriptive Annotations
    are a summary of the main findings or arguments in each source with no analysis or evaluation.

    Critical Annotations
    provide an deeper analysis of the work and can include a critique of the arguments presented, the credibilty of the author/s and how the resource fits into broader research in the field.
  • Why write an Annotated Bibliography?

    As a student, annotated bibliographies show your lecturer you can

    • search for and select quality literature in the field
    • identify the key information in a source
    • use a concise writing style
    They are good practise for a longer literature review which is essential for writing a thesis or academic journal articles.

    As a reader, annotated bibliographies and be a useful way to identify sources to read in full.
  • How to write an Annotated Bibliography
    1. Prepare your references in APA referencing style.

    The re:cite referencing tool may help with this.

    Alternatively you could use Endnote referencing software which offers greater functionailty, and a way to store all the literature you use throughout your study, but takes longer to learn.

    2. Sort your references in alphabetic order by the first author's surname.

    3. Summarize the research findings or the main arguments presented by the authors in your annotation paragraph.

    Annotation Writing Tips

    • Follow the structure in the original document.
      This article focuses on two approaches of thought leadership which are...
    • Present the author's objectives.
      The author's intention is to...
    • Detail any relevant author affiliations.
      This website is written by the Institute of Management Consultants and is designed to...
  • Examples

    Descriptive Annotation

    [1] Gückler, J., & Armbrüster, T. (2003). Bridging uncertainty in management consulting: The mechanisms of trust and networked reputation. Organization Studies, 24(2), 269-297.

    [2] This article aims to identify and rate the key competitive mechanisms within the management consulting market.

    [3] The first section describes the origins of management consulting and growth explosion of the 1990s. The authors hypothesize that as management consulting is not an institutionally protected profession and has low barriers to entry, this creates a volatile market with a high degree of uncertainty for clients. An economic sociology approach is used to assess three factors of market choice, the publically available reputation of the management consulting firm, trust gained from direct personal experience, and recommendations from an already established network of trusted relations. [3] The second section uses [4] previously collected survey data from the German consulting market to support the hypotheses raised.

    [5] The authors' assert that when a client selects a management consulting firm, price is not as important as many other industries. The management consulting marketplace is charcterized by uncertainty in the industry and the inherent risk in sharing confidential business information. This means trust is paramount and the firm's reputation within a network of business relations is the most important competitve attribute.  

    [1] Citation in APA style [2] Purpose of article [3] Summary of contents
    [4] Scope [5] Results / Conclusions

  • Checklist

    ☑ References prepared using the APA referencing style?

    ☑ Annotation - state the author''s aims or purpose.

    ☑ Annotation - detail the scope and any limitations.

    ☑ Annotation - summarize the main ideas.

    ☑ Annotation - describe results given or conclusions made.

pdf of Annotated bibliography helpsheet