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Annotated Bibliography Writing Tips

The annotated bibliography is—as the name suggests--a bibliography with a note about the work located under the actual bibliographical entry. Instructors may require you to write one merely as a means to prepare you for the next step in your academic writing on the subject and also as a way of making sure you’re somewhat familiar with the material.

You could say an annotated bibliography is the credits to the movie with director commentary when a name pops up. You’re referencing the actors, the roles they played in the film, and how strong their role was, and what you liked or didn’t like about their role. The main things you’ll hit on are:

  • The author’s name.
  • The published work used.
  • Date the work was published and possible publishing house.
  • The annotation.

Finding Works to Annotate

This is the first actual step you need to take. Find works that are related to your topic or could support your thesis statement. The more sources you’ve gathered, the stronger your research will be. You’ll want to research the book beforehand and read them thoroughly to make sure you have a good understanding of the material before you move on to the actual writing of the annotated bibliography.

In short, these are books, websites, articles, and journals that you used in your research or referenced in your essay.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Writing one is very simple, but you will need to read the material and come up with the following which will make up the annotation.

  • Your opinion on the author’s thesis.
  • How strong or flimsy is the work.
  • The importance of the material to the field.

There are many other examples for this, but it’s mainly anything that stands out makes the source worth using in your research. It basically shows why this particular source factored into your studies and writing. The length of an annotation is just a paragraph, nothing that would consume the page or anything.

Remember, you’re just giving opinions of the source in the course of your research, not reviewing the resource overall. That is what a literature review is for. This is just to let the instructor know you read the thing, basically.
Once that is done, you’re essentially finished with this portion. The only actual effort here was reading the books, articles, or website referenced. Make sure everything is in alphabetical order.

Posted by July 7th, 2016