When you are working on a writing project, writing an annotated bibliography is inevitable. Of course, when you write an academic paper (dissertation, thesis, essay, term paper or any other) you must include citations and references used during research.

An annotated bibliography is a list of these citations with an annotation for each. An annotation is a short description of the cited source essentially trying to bring out the relevance of that citation. Annotation could simply be descriptive or critical.

Create Your Best Annotated Bibliography Paper

There are two main things you have to understand in order to writer a great annotated bibliography paper.

First, you have to understand your formatting style well. There are several styles that can be used. In most of the times, institutions and professors provide their students with instructions on which formatting style to use. If you’re not sure, it’s advisable to consult with your supervisor first.

Now, the most commonly used formatting styles include APA, MLA, HARVARD, CHICAGO, and OXFORD. Every professional paper contains a list of citations formatted in one of these styles at the end. Understanding the formatting style used is important when writing an annotated bibliography for your paper.

Second, you have to understand how to write annotations. Remember, an annotation is that descriptive paragraph that you write after a citation. As we pointed out earlier, annotations are of two types: descriptive and critical.

Both, descriptive and critical annotations summarize the source referred to by the citation. However, a critical annotation will go a step further. It will give an analysis of the source as well as the author’s point of view. In that sense, a critical annotation will criticize and point out strengths and weaknesses of the source as well.

Essentially, a good annotation should:

  1. Give a summary of the main idea and point out the author’s point of view
  2. Identify strengths and weaknesses of the source, and any biases the author has
  3. Give a comparison of the source to other sources on the topic of interest
  4. Point out the relevance of the source with respect to the topic of research
  5. Highlight the conclusions and argument of the author

Do You Need Help Writing An Annotated Bibliography?

Well, if you do, it would be a great first step to check out the samples we provide for a clearer picture of what an annotated bibliography paper looks like. Otherwise, you can contact us any time of any day – we’re always available. But wait… who are we?

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