Tips To Write A Good Annotated Bibliography

When you do the research, you use a series of resources such as websites, journals, books or anything else. A bibliography is a list of the sources that you have used for this purpose. You could read such a title as References List. An annotated bibliography also contains the list of sources together with a short piece of the text related to a specific item of the list.

What are the main types of annotations?

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You need to write down a short summary of the resource that you have indicated in the list. This text will depend on the type of the paper that you are writing. The easiest way to write an annotation is to sum up the content of the source. Take a look at the key concepts, arguments and the purpose of the whole book. You can describe what topics are discussed in the text.

In short, your annotation will comprise:

  • Summary of the key ideas and concepts;
  • Evaluation of them;
  • Your opinion about the ideas and concepts;
  • Explanation how the annotation is related to the topic of the paper.

You can write anything that is important to you but keep in mind that it has to be related to the topic only. We advise you to consult your to find out all the requirements if you are doing it for the first time.

Why do you need to write an annotated bibliography?

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The first step to write a great research paper or any other academic piece of writing is collecting resources. You can choose the variant to only make a list without any additional information. However, it will be hard to evaluate every list item when you come back to the bibliography in some time. If you have a short and precise piece of information, you will easily choose which ones will fit your paper best.

If you have annotations, you will get the prompts to develop a thesis. You will use your notes to define all your arguments and the supporting evidence that you will use in the body part of the paper. You can predict the development of the discussion in the text and build up a logical structure. You can have a very long list of sources with short annotations but choose only a few out of them.

If you are doing a great research, your work may be useful for other people. If your bibliography takes many pages of printed text, you can share it with the world. But how people can evaluate your work without the annotations? You can also look for the bibliography made by other researchers if your topic is related to theirs.

Steps for writing an annotation

Writing annotations for the bibliography seems too easy before you start doing it. But when you get the list of books and you face the need to write something, you may feel worried how to do it. Let’s take a look at the steps that you need to take to craft an annotated bibliography.

  • Choose the right style. It can be either APA or MLA style;
  • Make up a list of resources;
  • Read the resources;
  • Write a short summary;
  • Add evaluation.

Everything seems easy. There’s nothing supernatural in writing annotations, but you should mind that this task will take a lot of time. The primary step of the research is looking for the sources. Do you know where you can find all of them? Where do you need to go? When you have the list ready, you can start working with the books.

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You don’t have to read fifty different books at a time, find the right sections that are related to the topic of the research. Read the text and make notes while reading. Or highlight the key ideas. You can make something like a draft for the annotations that you will organize into paragraphs for the bibliography. Of course, you can write a long analysis of every source to do a deep research on the topic and use this information for the bibliography.

Think what you need from the annotated bibliography and what value you want to provide for the readers. A few phrases about the information from the source and a few words how these words are related to the topic of the research will be enough as well as a few pages of the same information.

Organize your ideas

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Writing annotations and putting all the information about the sources is not a very easy task. You should devote enough time for doing this task, otherwise your all research won’t contain enough useful data. Doing the research is not directly related to the annotations, but you can combine these two steps into one and make short notes when analyzing the resources.

One of the goals that you can reach when preparing the annotated bibliography is to organize your thoughts into a logical chain. It will be much easier to develop the right structure of the paper in the future. Make annotations equal in size. If you have a lot to write about for some specific sources, it will be great to do the same for every list item.

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