How to Create an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a form of academic writing that presents a full name of the source (article, book, journal, interview session, etc.) along with a descriptive paragraph of what the source discusses. This descriptive paragraph should contain no more than 100-150 words and entail information about whether the book/article is useful in addressing the topic if author’s ideas are well-supported in the text, if student agrees with the author’s ideas, etc. Professors ask students to create annotated bibliographies to see if they were actually involved in the research process, if they read the needed materials, or if they are able to accurately and briefly summarize what they have read. In many research projects, students encounter annotated bibliography writing. Thus, please have a look at the explanation of how to write an annotated bibliography with decent content.

Basic Writing Rules

  • Students are involved in the creation of annotated bibliography in research projects, thesis and dissertation writing, etc. It is the preparation step before writing the academic text.
  • Every annotation must discuss information in a very brief and concise manner. There is no need to use extensive sentence structures. If you do not know how to make an annotated bibliography, check some samples on the web to be sure what this writing task requires.
  • Students must present correct and valid details found in the book, article, report, etc.
  • Students must focus on credible sources used in academic settings. The date of publication, content and choice of sources indeed matter. Usually, professors assign special requirements about which sources can be used in annotated bibliography.
  • As in any academic paper, the tone of writing must be formal. The paper must be flawless and clearly organized.
  • Students should proofread the paper before submission. Grammar and spelling mistakes will compromise the quality of writing and disprove your competence.
  • There are different citation styles. Please follow all formatting rules since each referencing system imposes a number of guidelines as for the cover page, reference list, etc.

The Process of Creation

  • Some students read an annotated bibliography definition and state that this writing task is very easy, which is actually not true. Students have to analyze the data and present their point of view in a very brief manner. Moreover, there is a need to prove that you know what research procedure is and can clearly highlight the basic ideas you got from reading.
  • In your annotation, you should write down the full description of the source name: author/authors, date of publication, the title, edition of the book (if applicable), city of publication, and name of the publishing house.
  • While reading the article/book, you should focus on the key ideas that can be further explored in your paper. You have to concentrate on the ideas that discuss your topic from a different perspective. However, do not forget to write down the exact page numbers of ideas you borrow from outside sources, so that you will be able to get back to the same source when needed.
  • There are different citation styles, such as Harvard, ASA, APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. Your professor is bound to assign a specific citation style for writing an annotated bibliography. All your annotations must be alphabetically arranged.

What is annotated bibliography? It is a small paragraph under the full name of the source. It is usually called an annotation since it discusses the key topic explored in the book, article, review, report, etc. The student should evaluate the scope of work done in relation to the topic, make some comments about what the author addresses, find some similarities or differences among other research ideas, and state if the source is relevant to be included in your research paper writing.