Students are required to write tons of papers during their studies. One of the common instructions for most of the assignments is the inclusion of an annotated bibliography. Some students have a hard time when writing this section of their paper and seek professional writing help to complete their work. An annotated bibliography is a list of all the sources of information used by a writer to do their work.
The sources are followed by a brief description which usually has a maximum of 150 words. There are several types and formats of annotated bibliographies that are commonly used by various institutions around the world. Therefore, it is crucial for writers to inquire on the kind of annotated bibliography that is recommended by their instructors. Failure to follow the recommended format can lead to poor grades. The writer must strive to make their work stand out and presentable to the readers. For example, you are recommended to use legible font type and size.
Importance of an Annotated Bibliography
• The section of your paper shows that you researched thoroughly and found relevant information about the topic that was assigned to you.
• Writers can list and describe all the sources that contributed to their topic.
• The description of sources helps the readers to get an idea of published content.
• It contains information about areas that your audience may be interested in.
• It provides a basis for further research.
General Tips when writing an Annotated Bibliography
• Follow the instructions given by your instructor when choosing the annotation style to use.
• Use complete sentences or phrases.
• Evaluate the resources that you will use in writing your bibliography.
• Keep track of your research work as this will ease the retrieval of information.
• Evaluate the sources that you have identified and take note of essential ideas.
• Ensure proper citation using the recommended format.
• Each source of information must have an annotation.
• Include the author of the work you have used.
• Take note of the title and year of publication for all books.
• An explanation of the relationship between the sources of information and your paper.
• The sources should be listed in alphabetical order.
• Provide a summary of the source in a maximum of six sentences.
• Include about two sentences that highlight the question that a particular source answered about your topic in your summary.
• Write about two sentences about the thesis of your assignment and also identify a methodology that was used by the author in his work.
• If you are using the APA format, you will be required to use a hanging indentation for your citation. The summary of the annotation is also indented as a block in this format.
• For MLA format, hanging indentation is applied, but the summary of the annotation is flush with the left margin.
• The MLA format also requires writers to double space all the contents of the bibliography.
• All the text is double-spaced in a Chicago format. The summary of all the paragraphs is indented, and the page numbers are inserted on the top right of the paper. The numbering in this format starts after completing the title page.
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Steps of writing a Bibliography
Every student would want to get good grades after their studies. Writing an impressive bibliography will help you to achieve that objective. The following are some of the steps you need to follow when writing your annotated bibliography:
1. Select Reliable Sources.
Your instructors expect you to research widely to identify sources of information that you will use in writing your annotated bibliography. The credibility of your work will depend on the sources that you have used. You ought to know the main reasons for conducting research and the problem that you seek to solve for you to find relevant information to use in your work.
There are many sources of information that a student can use including government records, policies, books, and articles in your field of study. Identify the source that has the most relevant information for your work. Identify some of the sources that were used in writing the articles that you have selected for your annotated bibliography.
2. Evaluate the Relevance of your Source.
One of the questions that the students should ask themselves is the importance of their information sources to their research topic. Highlight the reasons why you want to use specific sources and how you will go about it. An instructor may assign you the bibliography as an independent task or as part of another assignment. Some of the factors that individuals consider when determining appropriate sources are how the source covers the research topic or the methodology used in investigating.
The source should present new ways that allow the readers of their work to understand the research topic and provide an excellent analysis of evidence that is relevant to your work. It should also have an in-depth analysis of your research problem. The other important factor to consider in choosing a source is the amount of evidence that it presents concerning your research.
3. Evaluate the Background of your Author.
The author of the work that you use in writing your annotated bibliography should be an expert and with vast experience in the field. Find out whether there are other authors of the same topic.
4. Make a Summary of each Source.
Give a quick view of your research topic. You will be required to include:
• The primary argument of a source.
• Research methods used.
You can identify the primary argument of an author by taking note of all the key terms and ideas in their work. Go through the author’s work from the beginning to the conclusion to get a summary of the arguments.
5. Write the annotated bibliography.
You will now use the notes in the above sections to make a proper bibliography. Apply appropriate patterns for different sources. For example, books have a different pattern as compared to magazines. You can find online help to do the work.