Annotated Bibliography Guide with Useful Tips and Examples

Annotated Bibliography Guide with Useful Tips and Examples

Among other assignments you get in the university, you may face the necessity to write an annotated bibliography; this type of assignment has its peculiarities and requires some skills. In our guide, you’ll get complete information about how to write annotated bibliography with examples; before start reading about types and traits of this task, you should know what it is. Learn how this writing piece differs from abstract that can be seen in your scholarship essay.

An annotated bibliography is the list of sources that any author used in his project, research paper; it is not a standard reference list or works cited because every note should include a short description. Don’t think that annotations are similar to abstracts. In spite, an annotation is a summary of a book, article or another relevant source, it provides author’s point of view on the specific piece, has a critical or descriptive tone.

Creating annotated bibliography is an essential part of the writing project or can be a distinguish task. In any case, you should know how to create it properly, how to highlight the essential part of the source you describe, how to format this task and more.

Annotated Bibliography in Details: Types and Purpose

As we’ve already mentioned above, annotated bibliographies help to evaluate each source and give the audience a common view of it in a few words. You shouldn’t think that this written task is useless for students. Your instructor includes this task into a studying program because this work helps to develop researching and other essential skills. You should not only find a comprehensive list of sources but also provide a complete analysis of several books or articles. It means that the primary purpose of the annotated bibliography for students is to improve their ability to explore the array of information, draw conclusions, provide relevant arguments to the reader.

Main Types of Annotated Bibliography

  1. Informative or descriptive. This type of annotation is aimed to provide an in-depth description of the particular source. It doesn’t perform an evaluative function, but explain all the arguments and facts revealed in the specific document or another piece.
  2. Critical or analytical. This type is more complex and lets the author define his personal view on a particular topic or the overall source. Evaluation of the data provided in the book or another source is the key to the high-quality annotated bibliography.

Annotated Bibliography Writing Process

No matter what style you choose for your annotated bibliography formatting (MLA, APA or Chicago). The writing process has some common traits and points. We are going to describe the essential one for the majority of projects.

  • Choose and Analyze Your Sources

Identifying relevant sources for your project is a crucial part of the overall assignment. You should answer the critical questions of your work, evaluate the relevance of each one. If you complete your citations and annotations before start writing the body, it will help you to be accurate and detailed in your writing piece.

To make a proper analyzing, you should evaluate the specific source and answer a few questions.

  1. Does the author have appropriate credentials?
  2. Is the author an expert in a field he explains?
  3. Is the source you choose current and answer the required questions?
  4. What evidences the author use in his book?
  5. Does the book or article include some disputable questions or unconfirmed facts?      

  • Write the Description of Each Source

Before you start writing descriptions for each source, you should consider demands of your instructor or teacher. He may determine the main components of your annotations. Except specific requirements from your teacher, you should know that common annotation for each source is about 200 words. It is approximately one paragraph. Standard annotation includes only essential facts without unnecessary elements and usually has critical elements. Each item of annotated bibliography should include citation and description.

  • Format Bibliography Properly

This list must have the title “Annotated Bibliography.” Each annotation shouldn’t be longer than one paragraph. Use alphabetical order to describe all items. Moreover, its formatting depends on style of your writing piece. MLA, APA or Chicago style has its peculiarities. Don’t forget to make links to URLs you cite in your writing piece. In your list, you should avoid colloquial expressions and apply evaluative adjectives. Use third-person in writing.

Annotated Bibliography Sample

When you know how to write proper descriptions, what essential elements they should include, and how to format annotations correctly, it is time to see some examples of these lists. Read a sample of some writing piece. You can imagine how your work should look like; it simplifies your task and helps to summarize all thoughts and create an exact picture of your annotated list. Here is the entry sample that includes the title of a source and a few sentences of annotation.

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor Books, 1995.

This book is dedicated to various aspects of the writer’s life. The author is not afraid to highlight even failures she has faced during her life and career. Anecdotal style of this writing piece adds exciting traits that readers adore. The author includes plenty of vivid examples from her real life. We don’t read this book as a practical piece for writers. We learn and perceive this work as a combination of useful pieces of advice, engaging life story with its ups and downs.

Final Thoughts

Annotated bibliography seems like a simple task, but it helps to develop various skills. Students can improve their library research skills, analytical skills, practice in critical thinking. Anyway, pieces of advice in this field will help you to create excellent annotated bibliographies, summarize your thoughts. As a student, you may frequently face the necessity to complete these tasks.

If you have not enough time for doing that or have other reasons to pass this assignment to experts, you may choose our academic assistance. Don’t search for unfamiliar services, pick our experienced team and get excellent results!