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How to Do an Annotated Bibliography


One of the most frequent questions that research project writers usually pose is ‘How to do an annotated bibliography?’ If an annotated bibliography is something you do not know how to cope with, this article is just for you. Here, you will find useful and important information about annotated bibliographies and the general guidelines for their accomplishment.

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to sources used while researching the topic of a dissertation, thesis, or research paper. After each citation, the writer has to provide a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The main purpose of writing the annotation is to show the reader that the source cited is relevant, accurate, and credit.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 1

Locate and write down citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may present valuable information and ideas on your topic. Examine briefly the actual items and review them.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 2

Choose the works providing a variety of perspectives on your topic. You can pick the books reflecting a particular standpoint of a researcher on the problem under consideration or specific approaches towards its solution. The most important thing is that they should be relevant to your topic.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 3

Cite the book, article, or document using the required style of writing. Find out what style is appropriate (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). The main rules of formatting papers in accordance with these styles can be found on the Web.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 4

Write a concise annotation summing up the central topic and the scope of the book, document, or article. Do not go deep into details. Always keep in mind the size required for annotations.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 5

Include one or more sentences into your paper. They should:

  • Explain the authority of the author;
  • Comment on the intended audience;
  • Explain how this very work relates to another one you have cited;
  • Explain how this book/article/document illuminates your bibliography topic.

How to do an annotated bibliography: Tip 6

Remember, before including a certain source into your annotated bibliography, you need to critically evaluate it. So, take into account the following information:

  • The intended audience;
  • Objectivity of reasoning;
  • Coverage;
  • Writing style.

Now that you know how to do an annotated bibliography, get started writing right now. It is a bad idea to put off writing!

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