One of the most common academic task is writing an annotated bibliography. You will have more than one task where you will be required to use an annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography shows that the writer engaged and researched about the sources used in the study to verify their relevance to the study.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a citation that uses a 100 to 200 words description to describe each source you referenced to support all arguments and findings in your research. There are two different types of annotated bibliographies:
- Descriptive: These types of citations describe a source and its usefulness, as well as all arguments of the cited author.
- Critical: This citation critically examines a source by analyzing the strengths and weakness of the author’s arguments.
A type of bibliography will likely depend on your professor. He may tell you what type of citation to use. No matter what type you use, though, your descriptions of references must do the following:
- State your author’s background and his qualifications.
- Summarize your work’s content and state its purpose.
- Identify your author’s audience.
Format and Structure
The basic structure of this type of citation consists of the citation itself, followed by your description. In order to be sure that your page of citations follows the correct structure, do the following:
- Place citation above your commentary.
- Make sure that each explanation is one paragraph in length, consisting among 100 and 200 words.
- Due to the word limit, make your sentences concise.
- Use third person pronouns, avoiding words like I, you, me, etc.
- References may be arranged chronologically or alphabetically.
There are many different ways to do an annotated bibliography format. Follow these examples below to cite books:
- MLA: Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.
Example: Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. Macmillian Publishers, 1936.
- APA: Last Name, First Initial (Year of Publication). Title of the Book. Place of Publication: Publisher.
Example: Mitchell, M. (1936). Gone With the Wind. New York City, NY: Macmillian Publishers.
- Chicago: Last Name, First Name. Title of the Book. Place of Publication: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication.
Example: Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. New York City: Macmillian Publishers, 1936.
Choose whichever style your professor prefers. As for the commentary accompanying each reference, simply follow the structure described previously. Now that you know the annotated bibliography definition, we will give you some tips on how to write one. Also, if you want to cite an article, journal, or lecture,ed ED contains many useful pages that can also help you.
How to Get Started on Your Reference Page
Many students wrongly believe that they should write their essay before they do their works cited page. This is entirely incorrect. Before you even begin to think about the writing process, you must have a list of references in any format, AMA, APSA, already in hand that can be placed at the end of your project as soon as you are finished. Follow these steps to help yourself get started:
- Choose a topic and read literature related to it.
- Read the relevant portions of the source material you have chosen and determine which one to use.
- Take notes on the literature which will be used to support your paper.
- Create an alphabetical or chronological list of all sources you intend to use, and then write them in the citation format of your choosing.
- Next, write an annotation for each reference in accordance with the structure discussed herein.
- Double check each reference and its accompanying description for errors.
After completing each step listed above, you will have a completed reference page, meaning that once you finish writing and proofreading your essay, the only thing you will have to do is turn it in.