The Annotated Bibliography
The annotated bibliography and the essay for which you are producing the annotated bibliography are two entirely different pieces of writing. NOTHING that you put in your annotated bibliography will appear in your final essay.
Understand that your annotated bibliography is the preliminary list of sources you will be using. Often times, when writing a paper, you will change your mind or go into another direction once you dive into the subject. So, more than likely, you will probably need to do a little more research once you begin writing the actual paper.
Be mindful and collect relevant college-level sources. Here some things to remember:
1. Qualifications of Author
Limit your articles to scholarly/peer reviewed articles and you'll generally be able to find the qualifications of the authors on the first page of the article. The qualifications generally consist of advanced degrees and affiliations with colleges or universities. If you start in Academic Search Premier, you should find appropriate sources, but be careful they sometimes lead to a lot of general readership magazines and not all of those are appropriate.
2. Purpose of the Work
You can frequently find the purpose in the abstract of the article. If there is no abstract, the first section of the article generally states the purpose.
3. Main Points
This you will have to find throughout the article. Frequently there are different main points to each section of the article. It might help to jot them down as you read.
4. Whether it is Useful
This you will also find through reading the article. You should ask: Did I learn anything? Did the authors discover something new about the topic? Did they provide data or statistics? Did they do their own original research such as experiments, human studies or surveys or did they review existing articles--or both? The more you learned or discovered something new, the more useful the article is.
5. How it Compares
You will have to read all of the articles for your annotated bibliography before you can determine this. Once you've read them all you can compare them to each other. You should ask: Which article did you learn the most from? Which article made the most important points? How many sources did the authors use when doing their research? Also, which article is completely contradicts everything else - remember outliers and cranks do exist. Don't cherry-pick through articles looking for the single one that supports your points.
Where did you have the most luck finding relevant, college-level sources?