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Annotated bibliography writing

  • An annotated bibliography may be set as a separate task, or it may be part of a report

  • You may be given a reading list of books, chapters, journal articles and materials from the Internet, or you may be required to search independently for materials on a topic

  • The key is always to consider the relevance of the text to the context of your task

  • Imagine that your audience has not read the text, and you are giving a concise overview of it for the purpose of using it to investigate an issue

  • They may want to know the following:

    • the strengths and weaknesses of the text

    • its place in, and its relationship to, the field of research in the topic

    • how it contributes to the field of research

    • whether the information is sound, logical and well researched

    • whether it is broad and balanced

    • the intended audience

    • the aims and theoretical bases of the text

  • Structure:

    • Full bibliographical details of the text according to the prescribed referencing system

    • Summary – retell the main points, identifying the particular theoretical or political perspective on which it is based. Be concise

    • Critique – evaluate briefly. Who is the intended audience? Is it useful and relevant for this topic? On what assumptions is it based? Does it have a particular bias?

Adapted from the following sources:
Morley-Warner, T. 2009, Academic writing is… A guide to writing in a university context, Association for Academic Language and Learning, Sydney.
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 2009, Study & Learning Centre, accessed 15 June 2009, <>.


Annotated bibliography (PDF 172kB)

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