How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Step by Step
In order to realize how to write an annotated bibliography step by step, it is essential to be aware of all its peculiar features. Before discussing the specifics of producing such a writing project, it is necessary to state that the majority of students encounter considerable difficulties with this kind of assignment. At first, writing it seems an absolutely hassle-free process – you just need to present the sources you have used for researching the assigned topic. What can be easier? Nevertheless, this assignment is not as easy as it may seem since presenting just a list of resources you have referred to when exploring your subject is not enough to make an annotated bibliography complete.
However, why does an annotated bibliography cause so many difficulties for students? Why is it so arduous? The point is that students do not know how to undertake research properly, i.e. what sources to use to collect data, and where to get useful prompts for composing a good annotated bibliography. Moreover, and it must the major thing that prevents students from doing the assignment properly, students do not know the answer to the question “What is an annotated bibliography?”
It is a piece of writing highlighting books, journals, encyclopedias, features, and other resources accompanied by a concise description which generally consists of about 150 words. This paragraph is called an annotation that describes a specific source and states how it will be utilized. The chief purpose of the annotation is to explain to readers that the very source provides suitable and accurate data about the matter under consideration.
It should be stated that an annotated bibliography is produced before the writing procedure of the major academic work, i.e. a dissertation or thesis starts. This piece of writing shows what scholarly projects a student have used to prove the accuracy of their claims and statements and applied theoretical concepts. If to follow clear directions, one will be able to handle the task efficiently and we are ready to provide you with those.
Annotated Bibliography Questions and Guidelines
Depending on the annotated bibliography questions, i.e. prompts and instructions, this piece of writing can serve as a summary of the listed entries, their evaluation, or mix of both. Additionally, it may present a detailed analysis of each of the resources it includes.
Usually, the sections outlining a specific source comprise several sentences or a paragraph. In some cases, you may be asked to provide a more detailed description of each of the resources (a few paragraphs, for example). Nevertheless, such a demand is rarely imposed on high school assignments.
It should be also stated that an annotated bibliography can be written as either a part of a specific writing project or a separate assignment.
Being assigned to produce an annotated bibliography, no matter its type, students may be confused about the purpose of such a task. Let us discuss the reasons for which this type of writing project is produced:
- It allows readers to evaluate the quality of your scholarly project.
- It provides readers with the list of sources used for preparing a paper before reading it.
- It helps properly arrange the sources which you have made reference to in your paper.
In order to succeed in writing an annotated bibliography, it is of immense importance to stick to the set guidelines. One should know that neglecting the rules that have to be followed when working on this writing project may lead to failure to create a worthy work. Below, there are several helpful pieces of advice about crafting an annotated bibliography:
- Research the subject thoroughly. Find various viewpoints on the examined matter.
- Scrutinize the chosen resources and jot down important details. Do mind that it is essential to use authoritative sources only. If you doubt the validity of some sources, avoid using them.
- Highlight the fundamental ideas of the source. It will help you prove the usefulness of the used source.
- Write down your questions. Readers have to know exactly what questions you have intended to handle and how you did it.
- Pick helpful quotations. Before beginning writing, make sure you are aware of the rules for organizing citations.
- Sum up the key points. In the course of summarizing, be precise.
- Evaluate the material provided by a specific source. It will let readers quickly see the usefulness of the used resource.
It is necessary to realize that being familiar with the rules for creating an annotated bibliography introduction or any other section is not enough. One should have great writing, research, and analytical skills to be able to produce an annotated bibliography of outstanding quality. Only competent and trained writers can complete such a scholarly project well.
We would like to draw your attention to more rules and tips that will be quite helpful in preparing your piece of writing. Let us talk about the elements which an annotated bibliography should include. One of them is the citations that you have used in your paper.
What is another structural component of such a writing project?
- The source the citation is taken from
- Author’s name
- Short source description
As to the annotated bibliography format, your professor has to clearly state which one has to be applied. If you are unaware of the main features of the available formats and do not know which one to use when writing your academic paper, consider the following checklist:
- MLA – utilized to citing works in arts and humanities;
- APA – applied to arrange papers in sociology or psychology;
- AMA – used for the scholarly projects produced in the healthcare-related areas;
- CSE – applied to the academic works written in physics and chemistry;
- Bluebook/McGill – used for organizing papers in law;
- Chicago, Oxford, Harvard – applied by the learners and professors of respective universities;
- IEEE – utilized for arranging papers created in IT technologies.
Note that describing different formats may be one of the great topics for preparing an annotated bibliography.
Now, it is time to discuss how to collect the supporting evidence.
In order to know what sources to use to investigate the topic properly, you need to make sure you understand it fully. In addition, you need to break the topic into the keywords. It is also one of the ways of determining the sources for gathering the material for your work.
Once the aforementioned steps for identifying the sources for gathering data are taken, start collecting information. When using a certain source, answer the following questions to ensure it is credible and contains useful information for your paper:
- Does this resource provide the data which I have to know to create a top-notch paper?
- Does it include enough examples?
- Is it a scientific publication?
- Is its author considered a pro in the area?
- Has my professor mentioned that resource?
- Does it provide detailed information about the matter in question?
- Is the chosen source modern?
- Does it contain the arguments and facts that can be used for supporting my claims?
Keep in mind that credible and up-to-date sources of information will help you create a top-flight piece of writing meeting the set criteria and standards. Therefore, when selecting resources for gathering the material for your annotated bibliography, make certain each of them is reliable. Both online and published resources that are created for entertaining readers or providing false information cannot be utilized for preparing academic papers.
Great Topics for an Annotated Bibliography
Down below, there is a list of topics for an annotated bibliography that you may find rather useful. However, it is worth admitting that there are usually no exact topics for such a piece of writing. Now, let us talk about the paper structure, its final structural items namely. The last page presenting the used sources may be called Bibliography, Works Cited, or References. It depends on the applied format. Sometimes, an annotated bibliography is placed at the beginning of the scholarly project and in this case, students have an opportunity to pick the topics and replace a common title with an exclusive one.
Check good annotated bibliography topics given below:
- The effect of the energy crisis on countries.
- Issues influencing global economic development.
- Is it worth minding weather forecasts?
- Moneyball generation: its connection with marketing.
- How to resolve the issue with drug abuse?
- The impact of drugs on the brain.
- Education as a career.
- The role of education at the global level.
- Means of averting pollution.
- The politics of Tramp concerning healthcare.
- Computer applications that can help engage students in studying.
- Self-control apps and their influence on people’s daily life. Pick a few products for analysis.
- Traditional means of educating children versus the 3D ones.
- Mormonism in terms of Christian traditions.
- Happy marriage: revealing secrets.
- People’s behavior in the jam-packed places. Is there a place for panic?
- Who is in charge of designing an academic curriculum and establishing the educational criteria?
- What should the teachers’ position on race and culture issues be?
- The role of psychology in curing different types of addiction.
- Is psychotherapy effective?
- Specifics of the educational process for preschool children.
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