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What is an annotated bibliography

This is a well-organized list of sources such as a reference list. However, the annotated bibliography is different from a straightforward bibliography such that every reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation that is usually 100-200 words in length.

Based on the assignment you are given; an annotated bibliography will serve various functions. This includes:

  • Providing a literature review on a specific topic
  • Helps you to formulate a thesis on a topic
  • Demonstrating the research, you have carried out on a particular topic
  • Providing examples of key sources of data available on a subject matter
  • Describing items that other researchers might find of interest on a subject matter

When you want to compose an impressive assignment or dissertation that will yield high grades accompanied with applause, try to use annotated bibliography instead of a regular one. This is because an annotated reference will enrich your paper and make it more eye-catching. An annotated bibliography is a kind of literature that offers a brief outline of the subject matter that you have picked from the source referred. It is a list of citations of books, journals, and articles that you have used while composing your dissertation. When composing an annotated bibliography, you need to make a summary of research sources and look carefully at the significance of the sources and reflect the validity of the original material used. Additionally, you need to ponder the purposes, format, writing style and example of the bibliography so that you can give your paper a complete dimension. Read through the following seven easy steps to compose a comprehensive annotated bibliography that will eventually turn out useful in the future.

Summarize the sources

Make sure that you pick your sources carefully and then create a summary out of these. You can easily achieve this by taking notes and pointing down to significant aspects of your sources. Make it clear and brief for anyone to understand what your work is all about by just a mere glimpse of the paper.


A citation is referencing from scholarly books, academic abstracts, images or videos and websites, scholarly articles. It comprises the list of references that you intend to use which is needed to back up your argument. In this case, you need to cite the source materials using a citation format that has been asked by your professor. The most commonly used form of citations includes the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). However, you might be asked to use another format of citations such as Chicago, Harvard or Turabian. You need to ensure that you understand all the formatting styles. A general format includes the name of the author, full book title or article, the date of the publication of the latest version of the book that is available on the internet. Make sure you organize your citations using some approach like alphabetically, chronologically, by format and by sub-topic or language.

Using an annotated bibliography

Just one-paragraphed info about your argument will help you enrich your paper, and it will make it readable. Additionally, it will assist the reader to make a decision on what sources you are going to use for additional reference. Bear in mind that an annotated bibliography is different from an abstract. This means that rather than offering a detailed summary, annotated bibliography tended to be more enlightening and focused on a specific aspect of the subject matter. Try to annotate every source of your reference.

Assess the author’s background and credential in annotation

When writing an annotated bibliography, try to use the author’s experience and other credentials like his or her educational and critical opinions. This is being used for both the writer and the readers. Additionally, you can talk about the intellectual inclination of the authors and the school of thought to which they belong. This will make your argument intellectually impressive and more enriched, your dissertation will be approved with huge applause.

Make a list of the central theme and main argument

By following these steps, you will give your readers a quick opinion of what your dissertation is all about. You will have a chance to scan the outline of the subject matter covered as they are used in your research thesis statement and create a molecular study of the paper. You will be required to explain to your readers why you are using that specific source material to substantiate your thesis statement. Additionally, you need to outline the significance of a specific source and make it readable by any category of the reader.

Assess every source material you use

Create a critical evaluation of every source material you intend to use. Just below the subheading bibliography, make a note if your source has an index or any glossary. If there is any test devices or survey instruments, you must also acknowledge them on your annotated bibliography. Allow your readers to know if the info is biased or objective or if it is reliable. Don’t forget to include the chronology of the source material and make sure you note if the specific book is outdated or current.

Make a proper bibliography of these sources

Once you have completed evaluating your source, you the jot down all the source material you used and compose a captivating bibliography out of it. Use the annotated sources in each of the points and write it after each point, to enrich your dissertation and make it more impressive and acceptable.

Therefore, an annotated bibliography assists you to be a better researcher since you will have a quality time and read the source and then summarize the arguments contained in it. Even though it takes your time to read a source and create an annotation out if it, but in the long run, it will save you time. The moment you complete writing your annotated bibliography, you will get a lifetime relieve since you will not go through the source again because the ones you have will remain in your mind for eternity.