The following seven points provide guidance for writing an annotation:

The following seven points provide guidance for writing an annotation:

1.    The authority and the qualifications of the author, unless extremely well known, should be clearly stated. Preferably this is to be done early in the annotation: “John Z. Schmidt, a Russian history professor at Interstate University, based his research on recently discovered documents.”
2.    The scope and main purpose of the text must be explained. This is usually done in ~three short sentences. For example, “He reveals that a few Germans played a key role in the events leading up to the revolution. They provided money, arms, and leadership which helped the revolution get started.” Unlike an abstract, which is an abridgment or synopsis, the writer cannot hope to summarize the total content of the work.
3.    The relation of other works, if any, in the field is usually worth noting: “Schmidt’s conclusions are radically different from those in Mark Johnson’s Why the Red Revolution?”
4.    The major bias or standpoint of the author in relation to his theme should be clarified: “However, Schmidt’s case is somewhat weakened by an anti-German bias, which was mentioned by two reviewers.”
5.    The audience and the level of reading difficulty should be indicated: “…Schmidt addresses himself to the scholar, but the concluding chapters will be clear to any informed layperson.” Such a comment will serve to warn you (and other college student readers) away from writings which are too elementary or too scholarly.
6.    At this point the annotation might conclude with a summary comment: “This detailed account provides new information that will be of interest to scholars as well as educated adults.”
7.    Yet another, and often required way to conclude an annotation is with some sort of reference to the usefulness of the source for your particular project: “This extremely informative resource will be useful when attempting to illustrate the impact that Germans, an earlier unnoted group, had on the Russian revolution.”
Example of an annotation based on the 7 points of guidance.
“Schmidt, a Russian history professor at Interstate University, based his research on recently discovered documents. He reveals that a few Germans played a key role in the events leading up to the revolution. The provided money, arms, and leadership which helped the revolution get started. Schmidt’s conclusions are radically different from those in mark Johnson’s Why the Red Revolution? However, Schmidt’s case is somewhat weakened by an anti-German bias that was mentioned by two reviewers. Schmidt addresses himself to the scholar, but the concluding chapters will be clear to any informed layperson. This detailed account provides new information that will be of interest to scholars as well as educated adults. Schmidt’s article will be extremely useful when attempting to illustrate the impact that Germans, an earlier unnoted group, had on the Russian revolution.

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