Annotated bibliography

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that gives a summary of the research that has been done. It is still an alphabetical list of research sources. In addition to bibliographic data, an annotated bibliography provides a brief summary or annotation.

The purpose of annotations is to provide the reader with a summary and an evaluation of the source. In order to write a successful annotation, each summary must be concise. An annotation should display the source's central idea(s) and give the reader a general idea of what the source is about. [Carlson, Laurie. "Annotated Bibliographies." KU Writing Center. Universityof Kansas. Last accessed on 15 November 2006 .]

An annotation should include the complete bibliographic information for the source. It should also include some or all of the following:
*An explanation about the authority and/or qualifications of the author.
*Scope or main purpose of the work.
*Any detectable bias.
*Intended audience and level of reading
*A summary comment

An annotation should be between 100 to 200 words, ideally. [cite web |url= |title=How to Write Annotated Bibliographies |accessdate=2008-03-02 |format= |work=]

Indicative annotations

This type of annotation defines the scope of the source, lists the significant topics and explains what the source is about. In this type of entry, there is no attempt to give actual data such as hypotheses, proofs, etc.

Informative annotations

This type of annotation is a summary of the source. An informative annotation should include the thesis of the work, arguments or hypotheses, proofs and a conclusion.cite web |url= |title=uw-madison writing center writer's handbook |accessdate=2008-03-02 |format= |work=]

Evaluative annotations

This type of annotation assesses the source's strengths and weaknesses—how the source is useful and how it is not. Simply put, an evaluative annotation should evaluate the source's usefulness.

Combination annotations

Most annotated bibliographies contain combination annotations. This type of annotation will summarize or describe the topic, and then evaluate the source's usefulness.

Writing styles

No matter which writing style is used for annotations, all entries should be brief. Only the most significant details should be mentioned. Information that is apparent in the title can be omitted from the annotation. In addition, background materials and any references to previous work are usually excluded."Annotated Bibliography." The Writing Center. 2003. University of Wisconsin, Madison. Last accessed on 15 November 2006 .]


A telegraphic writing style gets the information out quickly and concisely. Maintaining clarity, complete and grammatically correct sentences are not necessary.

Complete sentences

A complete sentences writing style utilizes coherent sentences that are grammatically correct. Subjects and conjunctions are not eliminated even though the tone may be terse. Long and complex sentences are to generally be avoided.


A paragraph writing style utilizes a full, coherent paragraph. This can sometimes be similar to the form of a bibliographic essay. Complete sentences and proper grammar must be used.


There are three main purposes behind writing an annotated bibliography. Each purpose can serve anyone in a different manner, depending on what they are trying to accomplish.

Learning about a topic

Writing an annotated bibliography is an excellent way to begin any research project. While it may seem easier to simply copy down bibliographical information, adding annotations will force the researcher to read each source carefully. An annotation requires the source to be critically analyzed, not simply read over."Annotated Bibliographies." Geoff Stacks and Erin Karper. 2001. Purdue University. Last accessed on 16 November 2006 .]

Formulating a thesis

Any form of research paper or essay will require some form of argument. This is called a thesis. A developed thesis needs to be debatable, interesting and current. Writing an annotated bibliography will give the researcher a clear understanding about what is being said about their topic. After reading and critically analyzing sources, the researcher will be able to determine what issues there are and what people are arguing about. From there, the researcher will be able to develop their own point of view.

To assist other researchers

Extensive and scholarly annotated bibliographies are sometimes published. The purpose of these annotated bibliographies is to provide a complete and comprehensive overview of any given topic. While any normal researcher may not get their own annotated bibliography published, it could be a good idea to search for previously published annotated bibliographies that are related to their topic.


An Example of an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is an extraordinarily useful source when doing research on any subject. It quickly allows one to go through a list of sources to determine which would be the most useful to use whether writing a research paper, doing a project, etc. Using an annotated bibliography enables one to identify the basis of a work, as well as the currency and authority of the work. This ensures instant validity on choosing a resource. Instead of having to read entire works and discover that they were not the desired material, one can instead refer to an annotated bibliography to quickly and resourcefully locate information on the desired topic in the most efficient way. The following is one example of an annotated bibliography that has examples of both useful resources and some unacceptable resources. There is also an excerpt written based on the information accumulated through the annotated bibliography.

An Annotated Bibliography on The Effects of the Evolution of Rock and Roll

Altschuler, Glenn C. All Shook Up: How Rock 'N' Roll Changed America. Oxford: Oxford UP, 003. 25 Mar. 2008.

This book gives a comprehensive review of the most important moments in rock and roll history. While some books tend to go into details about every minute aspect, this one quickly lays out a framework explaining mostly the pivotal turning points throughout the history of rock and roll. The way it is written makes it very efficient in pinpointing necessary information that one would want to make sure to include in their absorption of knowledge on the history of rock and roll. The book is also very recent making it one of the more reliable sources that can be attained. The author’s background in American history, with a specialization in popular culture, makes him a trustworthy source on the important turning points in rock and roll history in America.

Bayle M.B. Martha. (1994). Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. 1996, September 28). The New York Times, 23.

This book reviews the foundation of music and, specifically, it delves into the early years of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and soul music. The early foundations of rock and roll are used to ague against the validity of what has developed to be modern day rock and roll music. The way the author uses its past against it makes for a rather unstable argument. The foundations of the genre are used to criticize today’s music in a negative light. This book is rather out of date and is not a reliable source due to the plethora of factual mistakes the author makes within the first pages of the book. Along with using the foundations of rock and roll against its modern day sub genres, which disqualifies the arguments made, the plethora of errors in factual reporting causes this article to be a less favorable source. It is not a very trustworthy source to utilize and the author makes this clearly evident within the first lines of the book.

Gillett, C. (1996). The sound of the city: The rise of rock and roll (3rd ed.), New York: De Capo Press, 1996.

This full-text book is a detailed overview exploring the development of rock and roll music specifically in American cities. It spans from the year 1954 to 1971, making it less favorable because it does not explore modern times, however it is proficient in reviewing the years it covers. It not only covers this history, but also gives play lists of the most popular songs, as well as an insight into the business side of the industry. It is helpful in understanding the economic development that occurred in the industry, spurring more genres of rock and roll, rather than only discussing the social side. This book is extremely reliable because of its continuity of use throughout the years. The author is also very credible because of his experience as a British radio host in the United Kingdom. He is well-versed in world music and has made it his focus, giving him a well grounded background in the genre of rock and roll.

Jauchen, M. (2006). Rockin' in time: A social history of rock-and-roll. Interdisciplinary Humanities, 23(2), 162-165.

This scholarly article reviews a popular book about the roots of rock and roll music. While it is only a review article, it manages to mention key issues important to the history of rock and roll. It includes various important facts such as the first song recognized as rock and roll, as well as the people considered the first “rockers”. This makes it a sufficient article in which to check others against for accuracy. However, it is inefficient for an in depth analysis of the birth of rock and roll music. The author is quite reliable, as he is a university professor who focuses on the history of rock and roll. The article is also quite recent allowing for the ability to build upon previous information making it as accurate and as up to date as possible.

Madani, Jack. "Pop and Rock Music in the 60s." 1998. 25 Mar. 2008 .

This website successfully gives a summary of the evolutionary stages of rock and roll. It neatly and concisely outlines the events and artists that were known in each stage of rock and roll history including the 1960s, the British Invasion, mop-tops etc. The site also juxtaposes each stage in rock music with the historical context that was occurring during the same time period. It clarifies how influential history was on the development of rock and roll music. The times changed and because of this, the music also was transformed. Although the website was published in the 1990’s the author is very reliable. As a professor of the history of rock and roll that has conducted many studies one the correlations between history and music, the information is sure to be accurate.

Martin, Christopher R. "The Naturalized Gender Order of Rock and Roll." Journal of Communication Inquiry (1995): 53-74. 23 Mar. 2008.

This scholarly journal explores the facts of gender in the history of rock and roll. It is much too obvious that women are often left out of the traditional summary of the history of rock and roll. This affects the history greatly, because even though there were female rock and roll artists, it was not until in the nineteen-seventies that women began to receive credit for their music. This article explores the reasons why this occurred, taking a focus on the social circumstances surrounding the time frames. This article is only somewhat recent and could probably be built upon, however the author is very credible because of his background as a professor with a focus on the crossroads of media and culture. Therefore the understanding of rock and roll and its effects on popular culture during the time is very accurate.

Moon, Tom. (2004, JULY 3). Rock -and- roll had many fathers, and . . . that's all right. The Philadelphia Inquirer, D01.

This article gives great insight into the debatable history of rock and roll. The author debates the earliest recognizable roots of rock and roll music, bringing about many other situations that could have been credited with being the earliest starting point of rock and roll music in the United States of America. It goes over the most popular forms of rock and roll music and includes the idea that the first songs of rock and roll fit into different genres rather than the single one they were originally placed in. The author is very reliable although he may have some bias as he is a music critic. He has been writing about all genres of music since 1983. His longevity in the field gives him a lot of credibility due to his time spent studying music, as well as his personal experience of growing up during its evolution.

Peterson, Richard A. Why 1955? explaining the advent of rock music. New York City: Routledge, 1994.

This book thoroughly examines the history of Rock and Roll throughout the world. The global context is very helpful in understanding the development of the musical genre in America. Even better are the various chapters that talk solely about the phenomenon in America. They are very in depth, providing a good sampling of the earliest influences on rock and roll music in the United States of America. Although, it is not the most recent of documents, it is extremely reliable because it is a published book and the author is a university professor with a well known background in music. He is known for his knowledgeable lectures on the history of music, specifically in America, as well as other social issues, making him a very plausible source for discussing the history of rock and roll.

Pruter, Robert. "A History of Doowop Fanzines." Questia 21 (1997). 25 Mar. 2008.

This journal article focuses on the lifestyle that evolved with spread of mass popular culture during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Consequently, the fad at the time focused on the American obsession with the newly discovered and continuously evolving genres of rock and roll music. The music influenced various people along with the social issues during the time. It was a time of outspoken liberals promoting a revolution. Rock and roll music became a new expression of freedom and standing for what one believed in. The article is somewhat reliable due to its date. It could be more recent, but the qualifications of the author are undoubted as he is a professor in music education. He has spent years writing, reviewing, and teaching about the evolution of music and its effects on the masses.

Peneny, Dk. "The History of Rock and Roll." This History of Rock and Roll. 5 Aug. 2007. 22 Mar. 2008 .

This web site is a good source to use for quick verifiable facts. It manages to cover the history of rock and roll including facts about the eras, the music industry, the instruments, the most famous figures, and the social occurrences at the time. It also maintains an easy to use navigation system made of links and clean graphics. It is visually appealing and keeps interest of the reader. The web site has also been recently updated meaning that it is still an up-to-date source, constantly building up its material. The author of the site is particularly reliable because of the proof of his input on various articles and sites about facts of the history of rock and roll and music in general. It is somewhat imprecise, that his professional background is not available.

Piazza, T. (1990). The roots of rock. (cover story). Scholastic Update, 122(18), 6.

This scholarly article discusses the early history of rock and roll music, placing emphasis on the melding of white, rural, country music and African American, bluesy, gospel music. It also includes various references to the political and social events in American history that allowed for the outlet of emotion in the form of music. This useful article documents the rise of rock and roll, not only utilizing the strictly musical foundation, but also includes how the events of American history influenced the formation of the Rock and Roll genre. The author is a reliable source since he is a well-acclaimed music critic, jazz musician, and lecturer. He has a profound background in music and its history, particularly jazz, which is one of the main foundations of Rock and Roll.

Scaruffi, Piero. A History of Rock Music, 1951-2000. New York: Iuniverse (2003).

This book takes a look at the history of the development of Rock and Roll music from its very beginnings, all the way up to modern times in the year 2000. Therefore, it gives a comprehensive summary of the developments made over time. Not only does it manage to show all the dimensions of rock and roll music, but it also manages to explore all of the most influential artists. The book is not repetitively discussing only the major album sellers, but all of whom had artistic differentiation. The complete summary and how up to date it is, makes this a very good source to use. The author is credible to the utmost degree since his career title is a music historian and his focus is on rock, jazz, and popular music. With rock and roll being rooted in early jazz and evolving to a form of popular music, the article has a high reliability.

Wikipedia Contributors. (2008). Rock and roll. Retrieved February 4, 2008, 2008, from

This internet source goes through all of the verifiable styles of Rock and Roll. It follows the process of evolution of the genre, chronologically identifying all the branches that have been devised. This clarifies the diversity of the genre. It shows that rock and roll music is not simply just thrashing metal, driving guitar melodies, or ballads. The article provides a good general overview of the largest Rock and Roll subtypes. Thus it makes summarizing the history of the subject easier. The authority of the author is not completely reliable, since it is based on the input of various online, anonymous editors. However, the citations that they have used are reliable. The article has also been recently updated making it slightly more reliable. The anonymous authors make this work less favorable for utilizing it as a source.

Wikipedia Contributors. (2008). American popular music. Retrieved February 4, 2008, from

This internet article explains the growth of American popular music, consequently dissecting some important points on the evolution of Rock and Roll music in America. This makes it helpful in pinpointing when Rock and Roll music emerged and what influenced its emergence, however this article focuses on a variety of the musical genres from American history. The sections on Rock and Roll are far too general to formulate a deep understanding on the history of Rock and roll. The authority of the author is also not completely reliable, since it is based on the input of various online editors, but it is made for feasible for use because the citations the authors used as sources are reliable. The anonymous authors make this work less favorable for utilizing it as a source.

Zak, Albin. The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records. Berkeley: Berkeley University of California P, 2001. 25 Mar. 2008.

This book takes a “behind the scenes” look at the evolution of rock and roll music. The focus is on the writing and the production of the music that influenced the mass popular culture of America forever. It explores how studios were able to meld and interpret the sounds of soul, blues, and country music to form the sound that people recognize as rock and roll today. This writing covers the topics that most people are unaware about. It is evident that rock and roll music developed over the decades, but the studios and writers also had to learn to produce it and write it in a format that was still acceptable for records. This work is extremely credible as the author lived through the times of the revolutionizing sound technologies and was heavily involved in the music industry as an artist and a producer.

Excerpt formed from the specifically from the sources of the annotated bibliography:

When one brings about the topic of Rock and Roll today, most people think about Metal Rock or Pop Rock. Although these are verifiable types of Rock and Roll music, it is important to remember where the beginnings of Rock and Roll music are actually rooted. The beginnings of Rock and Roll in America started in the South and the earliest roots can be traced back to African American jazz and blues music, as well as country music.African American slaves developed the basis for what has today become a plethora of varieties of Rock and Roll music. The earliest influences can be found in plantation songs. African American slaves made up songs to help get them though tiresome days of grueling work. It was a way of releasing emotions in disguise, so as they would not be punished. However,the earliest documented first classification of Rock and Roll music was in the year 1955. Evidently there was music, more specifically rock and roll music, that existed before this date,but it did not gain any radio airplay due to the fact that most white Americans categorized it as "race" music because of the African American artists that performed it. However, after the baby boom following World War II, the birth of a mass teenage culture embracing the musical genre emerged. Alan Freed became the first disc jockey to air rock and roll music and, in fact, is credited with coining the term. He did this strategically to allow for the acceptance of this music by white Americans.As rock and roll music started becoming widely accepted, the music industry started tapping white performers to do covers of the rock and roll songs written and previously performed by African Americans. From that time on, rock and roll music started to branch off in different directions. Consequently, it was associated with an increase in teenage independence and the acceptance of a less apprehensive society. Different genres started to flouf rish as the notion of rock and roll also came to represent a specific lifetsyle, and started to reflect many anti-war sentiments during the Vietnam War catastrophe. The music became an escape from worries and fads revolved around a number of unique artists.Some of the most notable artists of rock and roll music are Led Zepplin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Velvet Revolver etc. Rock and roll music has had the ability to cross over to pop music and country music, proving just how felixible it is and how it can appeal to wide audiences. Rock and roll music lives on today with much of the younger generations, unfortunately, omitting to realize the importance of the genre and ignoring its roots because it has evolutionized in so many directions. More than 130 subgenres can be indentified, causing people to forget the roots of rock and roll. One is about the roots of rock and roll, and that is that the genre of music revolutionized not only what Americans listen to on the daily basis, but also the society they live in.


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