An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The annotated bibliography looks like a Reference page but includes an annotation after each source cited. An annotation is a short summary and/or critical evaluation of a source. Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself.
Types of Annotations
A summary annotation describes the source by answering the following questions: who wrote the document, what the document discusses, when and where was the document written, why was the document produced, and how was it provided to the public. The focus is on description.
An evaluative annotation includes a summary as listed above but also critically assesses the work for accuracy, relevance, and quality. Evaluative annotations can help you learn about your topic, develop a thesis statement, decide if a specific source will be useful for your assignment, and determine if there is enough valid information available to complete your project. The focus is on description and evaluation.
The APA in text reference is in the format (author, date). When directly quoting from a text you must include a page number in the citation as given in the examples below. Including page numbers in all other circumstances is not required however, it is best practice to do so when referring to part of a work (e.g. a paragraph or chapter in a book). When referring to an entire work that covers a single topic (e.g. a journal article) it is not required.
Referencing an idea
- The leading medical cause of Aboriginal mortality is due to circulatory system disease. Other important causes of death include diseases of the respiratory system and injury or poisoning (Anderson, 1999; Saggers & Gray, 1999; Thomson, 1995).
- Anderson (1999), Thomson (1995), and Saggers and Gray (1999) all state that the leading cause of Aboriginal mortality is due to circulatory system disease, and that other important causes of death include diseases of the respiratory system and injury or poisoning.
Referencing a quotation
- Indeed, one researcher commented that “technological innovations have saved or extended the lives of many patients” (Lumby, 2001, p. 44).
Citing a source within a source
Where your source quotes or refers to another source, for example Unsworth refers to previous work by Halliday on linguistics, the citation might read thus:
- (Halliday, 1987, cited in Unsworth, 2004, p. 15)
Only Unsworth will appear in the Reference list at the end of your assignment