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Why is a bibliography important?

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Quick Answer

Preparing bibliographies helps researchers keep track of the sources they consulted or cited for their written material and gives readers a framework of how the writers' arguments were formed. Annotated bibliographies make it easy to remember what each source discussed and help readers refer back to those sources when analyzing research papers or building their own work upon existing studies.

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Why is a bibliography important?
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A bibliography can include books, newspapers, websites and interviews. An annotated bibliography goes a step further by providing a short synopsis of each source, and some authors include a brief personal analysis. Standard and annotated bibliographies give proper credit to the authors of the source materials, so readers can determine if the ideas of the researcher are original or influenced by past works.

From a learning perspective, bibliographies aid the researcher in developing a strong standpoint during the early stages. Writing annotations encourage researchers to perform in-depth readings of all sources, compare different viewpoints and formulate opinions for a thesis.

In scholarly settings, published annotated bibliographies give fellow researchers a starting point for their own work and an outline of the writers' thought process. For example, when a paper seems to leave out leading viewpoints on a particular topic, readers can consult the bibliography to find out if the author consulted those sources. A full bibliography also lets others know whether the writer performed extensive research or only looked at a few references.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an annotated bibliography?

    A:

    An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, journals, articles, documents, websites and periodicals that also contains explanations from the bibliographer about each source cited. The descriptive explanations, or comments, are concise.

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  • Q:

    What are sample bibliography entries?

    A:

    Sample bibliography entries are citation examples that show the proper way to format bibliographies for publication. Sample academic bibliographies show the method of citation that specific style guides require, including the American Psychological Association, Modern Language Association or Chicago Manual of Style.

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  • Q:

    What is a bibliography for a science fair project?

    A:

    In the context of a science fair project, a bibliography is a comprehensive list of the various books, articles and other resources used to develop the project. A bibliography is also typically included at the end of a research paper.

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  • Q:

    How do you write a critical analysis?

    A:

    To write a critical analysis, read the material you are analyzing with a critical eye. Identify factors such as the material's theme or purpose and how well the purpose was accomplished. Next, write an outline, and for the final paper, expand on the ideas in the outline.

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