What is an annotation?
An annotation is a short
description of an item. Annotations describe (summarize important
content) and evaluate (critically analyze) the resource based on
standard criteria. An annotation differs from an abstract or summary,
as abstracts and summaries usually only describe or summarize the
content and do not critically evaluate. Annotations may be written
to describe books, Web sites, articles, government documents, videos,
or other items.
What is the function
of an annotation?
The function of an annotation
is to inform the reader about the item of interest and to provide
a critical analysis or evaluation of its content.
How do I write
The content of an annotation
depends on the intended audience. An annotation should include the
- complete bibliographic citation information using an appropriate
citation style (MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.)
- a brief summary of the item's content and the main purpose of
- an annotation should also include evaluative comments such as:
- the qualifications of the author
- any biases that are detected
- the intended audience/reading level
- the item's relationship to other similar works or areas
- special features about the item (e.g. bibliography, graphics,
- other evaluative comments about the item (what was useful,
what was missing, how it compares to similar items on the
same topic, etc.)
An annotation should be
written in the third person and should stand alone, accurately describing
the contents of the source without reference to any other source.
In addition, if annotations are being written for an annotated bibliography,
do not begin each annotation in the same way. The reader may find
the document boring if similar wording is used throughout. An annotation
is usually a minimum of three to four sentences long and is usually
indented below the citation.
Examples of annotations:
Note: The bibliographic
citation information for the annotations below use the MLA Handbook
for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed. Other style guides may
be used including APA or Turabian. Please see the Citing
Print and Electronic Sources Guide for additional information.
Barber, Benjamin R. Jihad
vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the
World. New York:
Ballentine Books, 1996.
In this book, Benjamin
Barber discusses globalism, tribalism, democracy, and capitalism.
Part I discusses McWorld and its invasion throughout the entire
world. Barber writes that this global overtaking has been accomplished
through music, various service industries, and the media. Part
II focuses on Jihad, in opposition to McWorld, as people and countries
struggle for their own individual and cultural identities. Part
III describes the clash of McWorld and Jihad and the resulting
disorder. Capitalism and democracy are debated as working against
each other. Two appendices are included at the end of the book,
The first appendix describes energy use and population by country
in 1990 and the second lists the twenty-two countries' top grossing
films in 1991. The book also includes an extensive notes section.
The book was well-organized and the material covered presents
globalization in a new way.
Speckmann, Bettina and
Jack Snoeyink. "Easy Triangle Strips for TIN Terrain Models."
of Geographical Information Science 15 (2001): 379-386.
This technical communication
discusses the triangulated irregular network (TIN) model to represent
feature terrain. A major problem with this model is the amount
of data required in transmission. To reduce the amount of data
transmitted, many systems use triangle strips or tristrips. A
tristrip is created be starting with a triangle and then adding
a new vertex and dropping the oldest vertex from the original
triangle. The goal of the tristrip concept is to find the minimum
number of vertices to accurately represent the terrain. Two methods
to create this tristrip representation are described. The first
involves the use of a spanning tree following the tree using depth
first and creating a zigzag pattern to create new tristrips. The
second method uses the spanning tree method and an algorithm to
construct the tristrips. The authors determined several different
ways to reduce the number of tristrips. The first is to allow
swaps by changing the vertex when creating new triangles. The
second method is to combine two tristrips. The third way combines
strips using non-tree edges. The most significant reduction in
data was through the use of swaps. The paper contains a variety
of figures and table to assist the reader in understanding the
concept of tristrips and ends with a short list of references.
The authors, Speckmann and Snoeyink, work in the departments of
computer science at the University of British Columbia and UNC
Chapel Hill, respectively.
Article in an Article Database (with only the starting
page number provided)
"Targeting Teens Means Building Buzz." Advertising
Age 27 March 2000: 26- . Academic
Premier. EBSCO. Weber State U, Stewart Lib., Ogden, UT. 29 Sept.
This brief article talks
about marketing to teens without their knowing that they are directly
being targeted. Different strategies used to market products are
described including those used for Cornnuts and Nabisco's Bubble
Yum gum. The article describes this marketing as "anti-advertising"
and portrays how teens react to various tactics. Although short,
this article provides a current overview of how companies market
McKinley Health Center.
Caffeine. 2002. 23 Aug. 2005 <http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/health-info/
Web site which discusses
the ingredient caffeine. On the site many questions are answered
about caffeine including its effects and safety, reducing caffeine
consumption, and whether or not it helps with studying. The amount
of caffeine in common foods is listed in a table at the bottom
of the page including various types of coffee and teas, chocolate,
cocoa, and soft drinks. Medications that contain caffeine are
also listed. The page is well-organized, contains useful information,
and includes appropriate documentation.
Help in preparing this
handout came from the Web site: "How to write annotated bibliographies"
Retrieved May 17, 2002 from http://www.mun.ca/library/research_help/qeii/annotated_bibl.html
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