Students have to encounter many challenges during their academic career. How to write annotated bibliography? Answering this question is one of the trickiest and most challenging tasks, but it’s impossible to write good essays without it. A simple list of your used sources isn’t enough. An annotated bibliography is an extremely helpful tool because it does the following:
- Provides a concise summary of relevant sources on a particular topic;
- Informs readers of important data;
- Helps you avoid plagiarism;
- Highlights the main purpose or objective of a title;
- Determines if a specific source, such as a book or an article, is suitable for your project;
- Focuses on major points that the author addresses.
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
It’s an expanded version of a standard bibliography, but the main difference is that you need to summarize sources and explain their importance for your research. It’s a brief list that includes every citation that you use followed by a separate explanatory paragraph or your annotation.
How Does it Function?
An annotated bibliography functions as:
- A summary of your sources;
- A summary and a critical evaluation of the usefulness of a particular work;
- Their combination;
- A deep analysis of every source you find.
It’s an integral part of your academic assignment. Search for a helpful sample that will provide you with more information on how to write annotated bibliography and what style to choose when you reference all sources.
Why Should You Write It?
You may wonder why you need to write an annotated bibliography in your academic paper, especially if you’re dealing with it for the first time. It links to the following tasks:
- Allowing readers to evaluate the quality of your essay;
- Helping you organize all sources according to their relevance to your topic;
- Allowing you to get familiar with the relevant literature.
Why is an Annotated Bibliography Important?
As you already know, students need to use it for several things, including:
- A brief description (the main purpose is to provide readers with the most important information, unlike a traditional style);
- A summary (highlight the basic scope of sources, their conclusions, and hypotheses);
- An evaluation (compare different sources in the same category to evaluate the effectiveness of overall objectives or results);
- An analysis (think about the role of sources in support your major argument and give your critical standpoint).
An annotated bibliography has many goals. To get high grades and impress your university or college teachers, stick to it instead of a traditional format because it helps you make your academic papers more informative and attractive.
Basic Steps to Write Your Annotated Bibliography
Instructors often request it to help students to construct effective research papers and eliminate unnecessary sources of information. It’s a comprehensive guide to the relevant literature. When planning your annotated bibliography, outline everything ahead and make sure that you have enough time to meet all requirements. Take a few basic steps:
- Identify its scope and purpose;
- Organize all sources with special cards;
- Take reasonable notes.
What is The Scope of an Annotated Bibliography?
Identify the titles that you need to read. Determine where you should start and stop. If you don’t read irrelevant materials and off-topic sources, you can save a lot of time and finish your assignment faster. Teachers usually give a clear idea of their expectations.
To identify the purpose of your annotated bibliography, provide a summary of each source and evaluate its worth for a specific academic project. It can act as a literature review in college papers because it demonstrates your authority and competence on a given subject. Provide the audience with a full list of your sources.
Why do you need source cards?
Source cards provide the information necessary to reference materials. You need this information even if you don’t quote from sources directly (place them in the middle of your cards and use the right format, such as APA or MLA).
Take Reasonable Notes
Excellent note taking is an important skill and it takes some time and enough practice to master it. What is a hard part? Many students find it difficult to record enough data, provide a comprehensive and brief summary, and avoid missing important bibliographical details. Write down a quick summary right after reading a specific source to provide its accurate description and avoid bias opinions. Note only essential claims and statements.
What Format to Choose for Your Annotated Bibliography?
Before you start forming on a list of your sources and their annotations, learn specific rules to format everything correctly. There are different formats that you can use:
- Informative (highlight the most important points, objectives, or arguments);
- Descriptive (describe works and their basic elements, such as key features, chapter headings, and notable sections);
- Critical or analytical (examine and critically analyze your sources of information).
Useful Annotated Bibliography Tips
What else can you do? When writing commentaries for every source, include these helpful things to end up with an impressive annotated bibliography:
- Its basic purpose;
- The author’s central argument;
- Additional elements (diagrams, charts, appendices, or glossaries);
- Major conclusions, points, and findings;
- The targeted audience;
- Significant points about the author’s background;
- How its title fits with other similar sources;
- How useful it is in answering a particular research question.
Should You Ask for Annotated Bibliography Help?
Not all students have the skills necessary to cope with the challenge of writing an annotated bibliography because of their part-time jobs or other important responsibilities such as preparation to their dissertation defense. Get professional help if you’re one of them. Online writers know all formatting rules and guidelines. If you need expert assistance with your annotated bibliography, don’t hesitate to contact them and get access to a number of benefits, such as time savings and your improved grades.