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The Complete Guide to Writing an Annotated Bibliography

03 May 2018

Every student knows that writing an annotated bibliography is the last step to take, which plays not the least role in the evaluation of the paper quality. Every academic project should contain the list of sources. It is impossible just to list them. You should stick to a specific formatting style.

The task to organize references the right way may become a real headache if you don't know how to do this in accordance with the rules. However, if you have learned the basics and checked the examples, preparing an annotated bibliography won't seem the worst assignment ever. The knowledge on how to write the reference and the annotation is inevitable for composing A-grade papers. Find out how to do this the right way having a look at both rules and illustrative examples.

What is an Annotated Bibliography and Which Distinctive Features Does It Have?

Most students feel puzzled when getting an assignment to make an annotated bibliography because they can't understand how it differs from a standard list of references. This is a list of sources which main difference is that it should contain a concise description of each book, article, web resource, etc., which you consider useful for your work. The annotation is added with the aim to evaluate the relevance of each piece of information that can make a contribution to the research. Keep in mind that your task is to introduce the sources you have used for your paper to the reader.

It isn't as easy as ABC as you should provide an in-depth analysis of each source of information you have used and analyze the quality of the sources and their contribution to your research. There are different writing styles. The most frequently used are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard styles.

3 Steps You Should Take to Write an Annotated List of References

After having learned what a bibliography with an annotation is, it is high time to check out how to format your list of references in an appropriate way. Use the following step-by-step guide for preparing an annotated bibliography for your university paper:

  • Find the relevant sources for your university project (books, articles, internet resources).
  • Reference each of them due to the necessary format (it may depend on the type of your assignment).
  • Write 2 paragraphs about each source. The 1st one should summarize the main ideas. When composing the 2d one, concentrate on the analysis, explain how exactly it has helped you to achieve the desired result.

What Should Your Annotated Bibliography Reflect?

You are supposed to write a reflection of an annotated bibliography or make request like "write my bibliography". What does this mean? Provide answers to 4 most questions listed below:

  • How helpful is the source for your research?
  • Who else can use it?
  • Has the author of this source changed your vision of the topic or not?
  • How well does it clarify the researched topic?

When working on your annotation, don’t look for the easiest ways and don’t copy sentences from the introduction. Summarize the ideas using your own words. The 2d paragraph containing the descriptive evaluation is going to be longer than the 1st one, but it must contain only the relevant information.

Have a look at the examples before you get started. The best way to meet the teacher’s expectations is to ask him or her to provide you with a good sample. If you don't have such a possibility, look for the trustworthy educational sites on the Internet where you can look at the recommended structure of the works cited.

How to Format a Bibliography in Harvard Style?

The Harvard style is commonly used by university students. Here, we are going to look at the second variant. When preparing a list of works in Harvard style, start the references from a new page at the end of your work and write the list of citations in the alphabetical order.

The rules for formatting vary from source to source. You can't follow the same rules when listing a book and an internet resource. Let's have a look at the key rules you should bear in mind when sticking to the Harvard style.

  • Books: Including a book in your list of references, write the writer’s name, or if you can't find the author's name, write the editor's name instead. For example, Roberts, K.K. After, you are expected to write the year in brackets like you can see here: (2018). The next piece of information for you to search for is the title which should be either in italics, or you can underline it. Next, you should give the name of the publisher, put a comma, and mention the place of the publication if it is mentioned. Example: Roberts, K. (2018). How to become a brilliant writer. Penguin Books, Ringwood.
  • Articles in journals: The structure may remind you of the previous one, but there are certain differences. You should start with the author’s name, provide the year in round brackets, then write not only the title of the article that has been used for your research but also the title of the journal itself, provide the information on when it was published, and mention the exact page number where it can be found. For example, Smith, K. (2016). All you have wanted to know about the effective hooks. The Journal for Copywriters. No. 5, April, pp. 3-4.
  • Internet resources: The use of web resources prevails due to the convenience of the Internet use. Write the name of the author, then the date of the publication of the internet article, its name, the name of the publisher, as well as the place of publication, and at the end give the URL. Have a look at the example: Derryck, S. (2013). Top 10 tips for being a successful copywriter. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/become-a-copywriter-top-tips.

Assure that Your Annotated Bibliography Looks Like It

Bear in mind that to provide a worthy informative description you have to spend hours or even days depending on your individual skills. If you are short of time, there is an effective problem solution- entrust formatting to specialists who are aware of all peculiarities and can make a list of references in accordance with the international requirements.

If you have decided to use this variant, then you should find a professional writer who is enough qualified to help you in doing this kind of assignment. The role of the well-written bibliography shouldn't be underestimated. The way how you organize your thoughts when evaluating different pieces of information can help teachers to have a clear picture of both your writing and analytical skills.

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