As a preparatory step in the process of writing a research/term paper, your professor may ask often ask you to submit an annotated bibliography. It is common to find many students stranded at this point, wondering what to think, especially where the tutor/professor offers limited information regarding what they expect from their students. However, it is important to understand this step as a simple activity that require a student to gather all the sources that shall be used to write the research/term paper. Depending on the number of sources specified by the professor, a student reads through the source, and writes a summary of the main arguments of the authors, and states the relevance of the source in the upcoming research paper.
When writing the summaries of each entry, it is important to remember the referencing style specified by the professor or institution. Writing an annotated bibliography is also a chance to convince the professor that you have understood the research topic, by demonstrating your ability to research and locate the most relevant information to answer the underlying research questions. Even though assignment requirements may be specific to use certain categories of sources, such as books, journals, and other academically sound write-ups, the primary responsibility remains with the student, who conducts an evaluation of the source to find its relevance to the upcoming research paper. The notes written under each source (annotations), could often be as short to include a few sentences, or paragraphs depending on the length required by the professor. Take note of the following as the most basic components for the annotations.
- Summarize your source
- Critically analyze your source
- Evaluate your source
- Explain why and how you’d use this source in your research
The following is an example of an annotation in APA format:
Carnochan, S., Moore, M., & Austin, M. (2013). Achieving Timely Adoption. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 10(3), 210-219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15433714.2013.788950
Carnochan, Moore, and Austin (2013) recognize that family reunification is the most important goal for children who are placed outside their homes. The authors also recognize that while reunification is critical for these children, it is not possible for all children to be reunited with their families. For those who reunification is impossible, Carnochan, Moore and Austin (2013) suggest adoption as the best outcome. As such, the authors note that the adoption should be timely; and identify some of the factors which could disrupt this timeliness.
Some of these factors include the welfare service systems, the dynamics of the family of origin, and the characteristics of the adoptive families. As such, the most important outcome in this activity is to ensure that the adoptive families are welcoming and more than willing to adopt a child, so that the integration into the new family is seamless. This article is reliable for this study because it introduces the dynamics involved in adoption, and how to make it timely, since this enhances the welfare of the child. To add to this, as a peer reviewed article, the suggestions provided therein are functional and can be relied upon by officials working with children welfare organizations.
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