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Annotated Bibliography Tips: Your Handy Guide

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What is annotated bibliography? It’s simply a list of citations to articles, books, and papers/documents. In essence, it’s a bibliography that provides a summary of each entry. The essence is to provide a reader with the summary as well as an assessment of each source.

The summary should be written in a concise manner (usually 150 words or thereabout) and should highlight the central idea (s) of each source, just like literature review outline. It should also provide a reader with a general idea of what the source is all about, including the accuracy, relevance, and quality of the cited sources.

You will need to write this biography when you write your research paper. This is necessary and should be accomplished for the purpose of giving credit to the authors of the materials and books you consulted while writing your research paper. Also, a bibliography aids readers to easily and quickly make reference to the quality of the sources you used for your research paper.

Things to Include: Tips for Writing an Annotated Bibliography

annotated bibliography tips

Image credit: BBC

  • Full Bibliographic Citation: You must include the essential as well as complete bibliographical information (e.g. publisher, author, date) in an annotated bibliography. This is an important component of a well-written bibliography. So, include the list of citations.
  • The Purpose of the Paper: Also, when writing this type of bibliography, you should state the reasons or purpose of the author’s work. For instance, such purpose could be to show a specific scientific process. Whatever the purpose is, you should state it.
  • Include the Author’s Background: The author’s background is also an integral part of this type of bibliography. In writing the author’s background, you are expected to provide the name, experience, authority or qualifications that the author is associated with.
  • State the Main Argument:  You should spell out the main argument of the work. The points should be as informative as possible and should be able to provoke questions and curiosity.
  • Include the Scope of the Work: Let your readers know the range of the work, what it covers. In essence, state the depth of coverage as well as topics (even sub-topics) that the author covered in the work.State the Methodology used for the Work: Another essential component of a well-written annotated bibliography is the methodology that the author adopted in the work. Readers would be looking out for this vital information as well.
  • The Audience: Also, readers would want know who the work is intended for, which is why you should include the audience when writing this type of bibliography. For instance, is the work intended for students, the general public, or a political group?

Also, you should include the author’s viewpoint, the source’s reliability, quality of sources, features, comparison, your own point of view, and the conclusion.

Important note: You don’t have to use all the components listed above at once when you write bibliography. Usage would depend on factors such as special directives from the instructor or the type of annotated bibliography involved.

A Guide on Using the Various Annotated Bibliography Formats

APA bibliography style

When it comes to writing annotated bibliography in APA format and writing annotations, you should list the author’s last name, the publication date, the title of the source, the location and name of the publisher, titles of publication in full, page numbers/issues/volume for periodicals, as well as link for an online publication.

Here’s a good example of APA style annotated bibliography:

Murray, S. (2009). The Library: An Illustrated History. Chicago: ALA Editions.

Murray’s book provides extensive look at the history of libraries since ancient times. He

adopts excellent illustrations, quotations, as well as descriptions of many libraries

across the globe. This book tells the history of the evolution of the book from era to era.

Also, it serves as a primary source of information for research in library history. This is a great book that should be of interest to book lovers as well as librarians.

annotated bibliography advice

MLA bibliography style

When it comes to citing annotated bibliography in MLA format; there’s an annotated bibliography guide. MLA stands for Modern Language Association. There are couple of methods used for MLA style.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • In-text citations: make a reference to the author, and use the title of the author’s work in the case of an unknown author. You should also cite many things in single sentence.
  • Cite in an alphabetic order
  • For format of citations, the order should be: Last Name, First Name, Title of Book, Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication, and Medium of publication.

See great examples in MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

Chicago bibliography style

When writing annotated bibliography in Chicago style, there are two formats to leverage, especially if you adopt the Chicago Manual of Style directives in citing sources. These two formats are;

  • The Author-date format – often employed in natural, physical as well as social sciences.
  • The Note-bibliography format – This is popular with the humanities such as arts, history and literature.

Here’s an example:

Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998.

This book by Davidson offers an in-depth analysis of the main roles that the numerous Northern Europe pagan goddesses played in daily life, as well as their roles in areas such as agriculture, hunting, domestic arts, and death.

The discussions of the author point to relevant archaeological proofs, ritual and patterns of symbol, and earlier research. There are many black and white relevant artifact photos in the book.

Turabian bibliography style

Another method of citing sources adopts the Turabian annotated bibliography format. Basically, there’s the author-date format and notes-bibliography format, just like the Chicago style.

In conclusion, you should take advantage of our professional writing help to write an acceptable and outstanding annotated bibliography that matches your type of research paper and provide you with the most professional dissertation writing tips.

Contact us right away to get the best writing help and get the most relevant annotated bibliography tips!