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ENG 352 - Technical Writing: How to Summarize & Annotate

Research support for proposal writing

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

What's in a Summary

  1. A complete citation for the work.
  2. The author's main point
  3. Supporting details--How the author supports, defines, or illustrates the main idea

MAY ALSO INCLUDE:

  • The purpose or intent
  • The intended audience
  • Special features of the work such as illustrations, maps, tables, etc.

Annotated Bibliographies

by Z. Johnson

A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, websites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "references" or "works cited" depending on the style format you are using. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation.

Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

. . . more writing help by Prof. Johnson

Subject Guide

Davida Scharf's picture
Davida Scharf

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