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Handy Annotated Bibliography Writing Tips: Easy Way to High Grades

bibliography writing tips
March 21, 2017

A list presenting the sources (books, websites, articles, etc.) used for exploring a particular subject is called a bibliography. Depending on the formatting style, it is sometimes named as “Works Cited” or “References”. A bibliography provides such bibliographic details about each entry as its author, title, publisher, publication date, etc.

An annotation summarizes information provided by a specific source. In its turn, an annotated bibliography presents the entry you are referring to when writing your paper and provides its brief description, i.e. summary. The functions an annotated bibliography may serve depend on the type of your assignment. The following annotated bibliography writing tips will help you learn more about the peculiarities of such a work. Thus, an annotated bibliography can:

  • Make a summary of a certain source. It answers the following questions: What facts does the source provide about the issue? What is the key idea of the used book or any other source? What subjects does the entry discuss? Note that the more detailed summary you write, the longer your annotation will be.

  • Evaluate a specific item. After outlining the source, it is rather useful to assess it. Does the entry contain accurate data about the discussed matter? Is the source useful in comparison with other entries presented in the bibliography? Does the source look at the addressed problem from different angles? What is the entry aimed at? (NB: these top tips for writing an annotated bibliography will help you solve your academic issues.)

  • Analyze a particular entry. When the aforementioned steps are taken, it is time to analyze the information provided by the source. Do you find the source useful for examining the topic? How has it helped you investigate the subject? Have you find out any new facts about your topic? Have you changed your point of view about the debated matter after using the source?

It should be admitted that your annotated bibliography may be focused either on one of the points described above or all of them. If you are assigned to write an annotated bibliography by your professor, make sure to receive explicit instructions on doing such an assignment.

Why Produce Annotated Bibliographies?

An annotated bibliography pursues several goals. Draw your attention to the following points to understand how to write an annotated bibliography and learn more about its specific purpose:

  1. When preparing an annotated bibliography, you will learn more about the subject you are examining. Certainly, searching for reliable sources for writing your paper is very important. However, creating a summary for each entry is essential as well. In order to prepare a proper annotation, you need to know what the source is about. Thus, you have to read it attentively. As a result, you will be fully aware of the facts about the matter you are discussing. Additionally, when producing an annotated bibliography, you will find out whether any research has been conducted on your subject. Note that an annotated bibliography format has to be made correctly.

  2. Creating an annotated bibliography will help you write a thesis statement. A good academic work should present a solid thesis and back it up with strong arguments. When preparing an annotated bibliography, you will learn a lot about the analyzed issue. Thus, you will be able to create a strong thesis statement highlighting the chief point of your paper. Moreover, you will be able to form your personal opinion about the tackled matter.

  3. Other academicians may find your annotated bibliography very helpful. You should know that some annotated bibliographies can be even published, as they provide important and relevant data about a specific topic. Though your annotated bibliography may not be published, some scholars may want to read it to be aware of the amount of research carried out on the issue.

Now you know a precise answer to the questions “What is an annotated bibliography?” and “What does it serve for?”

Making a Proper Format

Annotated bibliographies can be organized in different formats. Ask your professor for detailed guidelines which you need to stick to when producing your annotated bibliography.

Bibliographic details: MLA or APA annotated bibliography style is commonly applied to organizing such data about the source as its author, title, etc.

Annotation:It is usually presented in a form of a paragraph. Depending on the purpose of writing, it can be several sentences or even a few pages long. An annotation will not be very long if you are focused on summarizing data onlywhen writing an annotated bibliography. Nonetheless, if you aim to analyze the source fully, you will need to create a lengthy annotation.

In any case, you should create the annotated bibliography which you find the most suitable for your project. These useful tips for writing an annotated bibliography will help you complete your assignment properly.

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