Easy Steps to Write an Annotated Bibliography

About Annotated Bibliographies

It is crucial first to ask yourself ‘what an annotated bibliography is?’ and ‘what is its purpose?’ An annotated bibliography is a type of reference where a list of citations or quotations gets made to articles, books, and documents. Summaries and evaluations are provided by annotations, while a traditional bibliography is a list of citations for sources. When a student keeps these crucial differences in mind, then making an annotated bibliography becomes achievable. The citation for each source follows a discussion, and description of the source is called annotation. The annotations explain the strengths and weaknesses of the sources, as well as the applicability of your research project. A well written and adequately researched annotated bibliography tells readers about the quality and accuracy of the references cited. It is vital, therefore, to check with your instructor for precise instructions. Make sure to double space the introduction, the sources, and the annotations. There are, however, some slight distinctions between APA annotated bibliography and annotated bibliography MLA.

Different Types of Bibliographies

Summary /descriptive – Provides a brief overview of the content of the main argument, evidence addressed in the work and a conclusion.

Critical or evaluative – Provides a summary of the source, analyzes the content. It also assesses the strength and weakness of the source and explains the usefulness of the source for your research topic.

Combination – Most of the annotated bibliography assignments require that you combine elements of all kinds which are summary, description, and evaluation.

It may get distinct in your assignment which citation to use. However, sometimes professors may not specify which type of annotation to use and if this is case check with your instructor what they require from you. You can also use clues words in your assignment to guide you.

Steps To Guide You in Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Step 1: Choose, Record and Research

Choose and record citations from articles, books, and documents – the first things that you have to do to contain useful information and ideas on your topic. To write about your subject, these are the materials that you might want to use. Back up your statements and your citations are going to be the list of references. Citations usually include:

  1. Scholarly article (within periodical or a journal);
  2. Books;
  3. Scholarly abstracts;
  4. Websites;
  5. Videos.

Step 2: Citations and Format and Style

Citations

You need to cite the material or the paper you have chosen. Mention a brief annotation that gives an aphoristic theory of the fundamental theme and hint of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that either:

  • The intended audience gets given quoted comments;
  • The background of the author of the book gets evaluated;
  • Make a comparison and contrast between this work and another work you have cited;
  • Throw a light to your bibliography by elucidating how this works.

Format and Styles of Annotation

It is vital to know what an annotated bibliography APA is. APA stands for American Psychological Association; however, APA does not provide any definite instruction about creating a bibliography. An annotated bibliography APA and an annotated bibliography MLA are not the same.

You should always think through of the format you are to use unless your instructor requests a unique arrangement. Some formats are used, and the most common styles are MLA and APA styles.

An annotated bibliography example using APA bibliography format:

Christian, P. (1997, March 11). The Culprit dilemma. Maclean’s, 109, 42-44. This article examines the usage of Ritalin in Canada. It specifically covers the side effects of drugs and the debate surrounding its use, and how the teachers have relayed on it to control problem students. The basis of this article is the information that gets conducted on statistics, interviews, and studies done. It is a well-researched and written article.

An annotated bibliography example using MLA annotated bibliography format

Christian, Patrick. “The Culprit dilemma.” Maclean’s 11 Mar. 1997, pp. 42-44. The article examines the consumption of Ritalin in Canada. It specifically covers the side effects of drugs and the debate surrounding its use, and how the teachers have relayed on it to control problem students. The basis of this article is the information that gets conducted on statistics, interviews, and studies done. It is a well-researched and written article.

Step 3: The Annotations

Author’s Background: An annotated bibliography structure begins with the author stating the full article while using the correct citation style. Later the writer provides the reasons why it was selected, gives a brief description of the works and the observed contributions that it makes towards the research.

List the main arguments or the core themes: The reader should get a quick understanding what the work is all about.

List the topics covered: The reader of the annotations should know if the source is mainly academic or not. Also, let the reader know whether the source is responsive to the layperson.

Gauge each source: Take a close look at the source and ponder if the information is genuine, independent or influenced by opinion or fact and if the source is current or outdated.

Step 4: Arrangement and Planning

Citations should get arranged according to a specific order. The readers can integrate them when you plan and organize citations efficiently. If your instructor does not request particular arrangement, your citations could be of the following ways:

  • Chronological;
  • Language;
  • Alphabetical;
  • By the format;
  • By subtopic.

An Annotated Bibliography Maker

Students are typically faced with a hard time when writing an annotated bibliography. But with the use of annotated bibliography maker, the students get a firsthand solution. The risk of making mistakes gets eliminated in this section of their assignments. The annotated bibliography maker provides you not only with a complete solution to make your task thorough but also helps you prevent losing face in front of the professor.

Conclusion

When it is all said and done, students are in an excellent position to explain what an annotated bibliography is, and how important it is in academic writing. A well-written annotated bibliography is simple, precise and short. The APA annotated bibliography and annotated bibliography MLA example above state the clear difference. It is essential to ask your instructor whether to use APA bibliography format or MLA annotated bibliography format. The above tips should help you write an excellent annotated bibliography.