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Annotated bibliographies

Language and style

Annotated bibliographies require concise and accurate expression. Each entry is usually a paragraph long (about 100-300 words).

Write in full sentences or phrases

You can either write discursively (using full sentences) or in phrases. Make sure that your style is consistent throughout.

Consult your assignment brief or tutor about the preferred style.

Use objective and factual language

In both the descriptive and evaluative sections of an annotation, you should use objective and factual language.

Reporting verbs like “they issued” or “he concludes” can be useful for the summary of content and argument.

Use the third-person and present historic tense throughout - eg “the report identifies significant events leading up to the crisis”.

You can use evaluative adjectives to assess the usefulness and reliability of the sources – eg “this book made a significant contribution”.

Avoid vague or colloquial expressions like “it is pretty clear”.