An annotated bibliography has two parts: the bibliographic information which includes the author’s name, date of publication, the titles of the article, journal or book and the volume and page numbers if applicable; and then you have the annotations, which are your summaries, evaluations and reflections on the main points of the chapter, book or article you’ve read.
Writing an annotated bibliography usually requires you to do an in depth examination of a number of texts. The benefits include helping you to: become better acquainted with the nuances of the ideas in your main sources; it helps you to get clear about how to categorise your sources; it helps you to acquire an in depth and clearer understanding of theories or methodologies you need to understand; it will also help you become aware of the major differences, conflicts and similarities between the authors you have to make comment about in your literature review.
An annotated bibliography can be used in preparation for your literature review, taking the time to write an annotated bibliography for key texts you intend to use in your thesis or dissertation can enrich your literature review as it will help you evaluate how relevant each text is to your research topic.
Now you have an idea of some of the benefits let’s see what specifically goes into an annotated bibliography. This example that we’re using was taken from the Learning Centre at the University of New South Wales. So first of all include the full citation. Second, briefly introduce the main argument of the article.
So for example you might say something like: In this article Trevor et al. review the influences of pay and job opportunities in respect to job performance and so on.
Third, briefly explain the purpose of the article and perhaps the intended audience. So in this example: The authors use data gained through organisational surveys of blue-chip companies in Vancouver, Canada to try to identify the main causes of employee turnover and whether it is linked to salary growth. Four, mention the range of issues discussed including the methodology so look at the scope of the article. So might say something like: Their research focuses on assessing a range of pay structures such as pay for performance and organisational reward schemes.
Fifth, state the importance or relevance of the text to your research. So you might say something like: The article is useful to my research, as Trevor et al. suggests that there are numerous reasons for employee turnover and variances in employee motivation and performance.
Sixth, include the strengths and limitations and biases and perhaps the readability of the text.
So you might want to say something like: The main limitation of the article is that the survey sample was restricted to mid-level management. Seven, mention the author’s main findings, tell the reader about their conclusions. Say something like: thus the authors indicate that further, more extensive, research needs to be undertaken to develop a more in-depth understanding of employee turnover and job performance.
And finally, reflect on the article suitability for you research purposes.
You could say something as simple as: This article will not form the basis of my research; however it will be useful supplementary information for my research on pay structures. You can find out more on the STUDYSmarter website.
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