How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliography is a type of bibliography where list to citations or quotations are made to books, articles and other documents. It is a document that states the referenced works and provides a short description and evaluation of the selected works called the annotation. A properly researched and well written annotated bibliography tells readers about the accuracy and the quality of the sources cited. Whereas in a bibliography, it just includes a list of sources without a short description and evaluation of the sources.
What are the Step Guides in Writing An Annotated Bibliography…
STEP 1: Choose, Record and Research
The first thing you have to do is choose and record citations from books, articles, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. These are materials that you might want to use to write about your topic. Your citations are going to be the list of references you use to backup your statements and inform your ideas. Citations usually include:

  • Books
  • Scholarly articles (within a journal or periodical, for example)
  • Scholarly abstracts
  • Websites
  • Images or Videos etc.

STEP2: Citations and Format and Style
Now cite the book or whichever material you have chosen, and a brief annotation that gives an aphoristic concept of central theme and hint of the book or article. Also, Include one or more sentences that either:

  • Evaluate the authority or background of the author of the book,
  • Give quote comments on the intended audience or readers,
  • Compare and contrast this work with another you have cited, or
  • Elucidate how this work throws light to your bibliography topic.

Format and Style:
Always consider the format and style used, format unless a special format is requested by your teacher or instructor. There are formats used the most commonly used styles are generally

  • the Modern Language Association (MLA) 
  • guide for humanities or the American Psychological Association (APA) 
  • guide for social sciences.

Other common styles are:

  • Chicago or Turabian Style for publishing
  • Associated Press (AP) Style for publishing
  • Council of Science Editors (CSE) for hard sciences

STEP 3: The Annotations
Author’s Background: The structure of an annotated bibliography begins with the author stating the full article title using the correct citation style. Afterward, the writer provides a brief description of the works, the reasons why it was selected and the perceived contributions that it would make towards the study.
List the major arguments or central core themes. Let the reader get a quick insight of what the work is all about.
List the topics covered as they apply to your research paper.
Give quote comments on the intended audience or readers. Let the reader of the annotation know if the source is primarily academic or not, as well as whether the source is approachable to the layperson.
Assess each source and take a closer look at the source and consider if the information is genuine, biased or objective, based on fact or opinion and the is source current or outdated.
STEP 4: Arrangement and Planning
Arrange the citations according to a specific order. Planning and arranging your citations will help readers easily assimilate them. If there was no special arrangement requested, your citations could be of the following methods either:

  • Chronological
  • Alphabetical
  • Language
  • By Subtopic
  • By the format

To sum up, an annotated bibliography is an important academic writing concept that each scholar should be equipped with because it is the foundation of a literature review. A well-written annotated bibliography is short, simple, and precise. One can develop an annotated bibliography for any research topic, but it is more commonly used in academic research papers.

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