Сhicago Style Annotated Bibliography Writing Tips
Preparing the Сhicago style annotated bibliography is one of the efficient ways of mastering your research skills. First, you will discover how and where to find information about a specific source. Second, you will learn to differentiate between primary and secondary sources by studying the data about their authors. As a result, it will be easier for you to write your next Chicago-style paper.
To achieve the desired outcome, first, it is necessary to get the answer to the question, “What is an annotated bibliography?” It is the same as a common bibliography also known as a Reference list or Works Cited with the only difference that it includes annotations.
This is a paragraph the length of which ranges from 50 to 200 words that briefly describes each source. It also assesses the relevance of the information provided by the used source.
The annotations can be created in the form of a summary or evaluation
How to Prepare a Summary Annotation
This type of annotation explains what information the source provides. Additionally, it presents the data about the author, publisher as well as other related items. This is the very information that your summary annotation has to contain.
How to Produce an Evaluative Annotation
When dealing with this kind of annotation, you need to analyze each source in detail. You are required to show the importance of a specific source to your research. Below, there are several helpful tips for you to follow when creating such an annotation:
- Assess the author’s authority.
- Is the author of a source considered a professional in the area? Provide information about their experience, qualifications, etc.
- Determine the target audience.
- How does the analyzed source fit into your study?
- Compare the source with others on your list.
Keep browsing the article to learn how to write an annotated bibliography in Сhicago style.
Thus, how to write an annotated bibliography in Сhicago? Such a piece of writing has to include the publications you have cited in your work. Each entry has to start with the author’s name and the source title followed by the corresponding publication data.
It is recommended to create a bibliography for all papers except the short ones. It will provide readers with valuable information about the sources you have used when writing your academic work. If you do not know whether an annotated bibliography in Chicago style has to be added to your paper, ask your professor for clarifications.
Since the writing process includes several stages, it is better to divide it into a few parts. Thus, to learn how to do an annotated bibliography in Chicago, you need to do the following:
Step 1: Open the MS Word or Google docs
Once any of the mentioned programs are opened, you need to find the function that will let you create a new document.
Step 2: Collect Your Sources
Read the task attentively.
How many sources do you need?
- Are any publications which you browsed in the course of research suitable for your paper?
- If yes, copy the citations from those publications and include them in your work.
- If no sources you have surfed when researching the topic fit into your current paper, check other writing projects which you did in class. Are any of them helpful?
Step 3: Insert and Format Your Citations
Once you identify suitable sources, copy the citations from the Database Cite function into your annotated bibliography in Chicago style. Remember to make proper formatting.
Step 4: Add Annotations
Do not let this step drive you mad.
On the line below the citations, create a paragraph or two explainings:
- where the source was found
- how reliable you think it is: (Does it provide accurate data about the topic?)
- how the source fits into your Chicago-style paper. (Which of the aspects of your topic does it support?)
You need to learn the specifics of the Сhicago style annotated bibliography format to know how to arrange your piece of writing. Analyzing some examples of annotated bibliographies formatted in the mentioned style would be also helpful.
A common reference should include the following data:
Last name, First name and then the middle one, Source title, Location: Publisher, Year
The main elements are the title, annotation, and citation. Depending on the style you are using, the title and citation may vary. Still, the annotation should provide either a summary of a source or its assessment.
The instructions listed below are taken from the Chicago-style manual. You have to read the description of your assignment attentively to see whether the instructions match these.
- Apply double spacing to the text.
- Page numbers should be placed at the top right on the first page (the title page excluded).
- Make a hanging indent when arranging entries on a reference list (in MS Word, go the following way: Format – Paragraph – Special - Hanging).
- Set 1-inch margins on all sides of each page.
- Apply Times New Roman or any other relevant font.
- Use the Tab key to set indentation for each paragraph.
Your Chicago-style annotated bibliography writing should be organized alphabetically. Place the author’s last name first.
Academic works should include a title page. Still, you should consult with your professor since a title is sometimes placed on the first page of the very writing.
If your work requires a title page, follow these directions:
- The title is to be centered a third down the page.
- A few lines below, your name, course data, and date should be located.
- Put a colon at the end of the title line and provide the subtitle on the line below the title.
- Apply double spacing to the title page.
*The majority of educational establishments provide their students with examples of a title page when it goes about dissertations and theses. A title page has to be counted as I, which does not need to be placed on it.
NB: Your professor’s guidelines may differ from the generally established recommendations.
The Chicago annotated bibliography manual of style provides the rules for arranging citations and bibliographies. This format is used in the academic disciplines related to humanities and helps writers avoid plagiarism. It follows the author-date mode, which means the footnotes are to be included at the end of the page they refer to. All sources have to be presented on a new page at the end of the academic paper. The alphabetical order is to be applied according to the last name of the author. The websites from which you have taken data and quoted or paraphrased it in your work should be provided as well.
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