What is an annotated bibliography and how to make it properly

How to write an annotated bibliography: definition and general information

How to write an annotated bibliography: definition and general information

At the very beginning, let’s define annotated bibliography. This is a list of sources that contains brief evaluation and description of each source. Depending on your task you can be required to analyze, summarize, reflect, critique or evaluate each and every source. In general, this document can be an independent paper or a part of some project.

Now it’s time to figure out what is an annotated bibliography goals:

  • it makes a review of sources (literature or certain topic);
  • this document helps to show the depth and quality of your reading;
  • it can help other readers to find interesting information on the certain subject;
  • this paper organizes sources accurately for future research;
  • it shows the amount of various sources (these can be books, magazines, websites, articles, newspapers, etc.) that are available for a particular subject.

Here we’d like to mention that a usual bibliography also contains a list of cited sources, but in difference from the annotated bibliography, it doesn’t include an evaluation of each and every source you put into it.

So, any annotated bibliography should contain cite citations with a short annotation. The annotation shouldn’t exceed 200 words for each source, but you have to clarify this information according with your teacher or professor’s requirements. Make sure you also considered with your teacher all the needed information about details you should put into your document.

The next important question is using a proper format. In general, the annotated bibliography format can be various, but actually there are two main formats used for this work — MLA and APA styles. Read our article to the end and discover requirements for both of these formats. We have gathered all rules about each of styles, so you can easily follow them and make a great paper in accordance with all instructions you received. We share only the main formatting rules, but if you are in need of detailed instruction to either MLA or APA format, you can easily find a list of full requirements on Internet.

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Annotated bibliography MLA

p>Annotated bibliography MLA

If you’re required to write a MLA annotated bibliography, put information of used citations in this order to create your document properly:

  1. Start from the author’s first and last name.
  2. Write the source’s title (in italics).
  3. Write the title of container (in italics).
  4. Include information about translators, editors and illustrators of the book.
  5. Specify the source’s edition version.
  6. List the volume number if your source is taken from the book that is a part of book series.
  7. Write the publisher’s name.
  8. Specify the date of publication. Be attentive here, because a source can have several dates, for example, publication of paper book and internet publication.
  9. Write the book’s location. If you work with paper book, it should be a real place, and if it’s a source from the Internet, you should put the link.
Annotated bibliography APAp>Annotated bibliography APA

This annotated bibliography consists of a reference list and in-text citations, plus certain guidelines for formatting the document itself. When you need to make a paper in this format, don’t forget to discover all instructions thoroughly. Read the main requirements of this style:

  1. Type your work using a well-readable font. APA guideline recommends 12pt. Times New Roman. Make sure you set 1 inch margins for all sides.
  2. Make sure the document’s each page has a running header; this is a short variant of your title, and it shouldn’t be longer than 50 characters.
  3. In accordance with APA requirements, the work should contain 4 quite important pieces: title, body part, references and the abstract.

This format is usually used for making such papers as scientific publications and other documents.

How to do an annotated bibliography: quick advice for successp>do an annotated bibliography - quick advice for success

And now, let’s see how you should organize both your citations and annotations in the paper. Follow some simple steps we provide:

  1. Gather all citations you’d like to use in the work.
  2. Cite all sources in required format (APA or MLA).
  3. Check out each and every citation is formatted properly to the style you’ve chosen.
  4. Organize your cited citations in order. You have to use a method listed in your teacher’s requirements. The most common methods are: by subtopic, by language, chronological, by format, and alphabetical.
  5. The next step is to annotate your sources. You have to write a brief description for each source. Keep in your mind that if someone else would read it, they should understand exactly what the particular source is about. You need to be objective, here it’s not a right place to tell your own opinion about the source.
  6. And, the last step is writing a short description (annotation) of each and every source and tell readers your opinion about it. Evaluate your sources by asking next questions:
    • Is the source is useful for your project?
    • Is the source outdated or current?
    • Is the information from the source based on opinion or on facts?
    • What I dislike and like about the certain source?

And here are some useful advice for writing the annotations for your sources:

  • Make sure each and every annotation is short, so you shouldn’t write too much. The best variant is to write the one paragraph of 100-200 words if your teacher didn’t give you any other instructions about it. Put in the annotations only important details, there is no reason to extend it with unnecessary information.
  • You can omit from the annotation the information that is already written in the title of your source.
  • You shouldn’t include any references or materials from any previous work of this author.
  • We suggest writing annotations in clear and full sentences and use an academic vocabulary.

Needless to say that creating a bibliography helps you to develop your research skills. We hope after reading our tips, you will be able to create a successful document easily and fast.

Annotated bibliography: examples and online helpp>examples and online help

When you create any kind of paper, it could be a real challenge. If you still need help in making this paper, try to surf the Internet and find some examples to look through. View several documents to get a full understanding how your own paper should look like. Make sure you found the example of the format you need, because you already know that papers in various formats can look different.

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