How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is different from a works cited page you compose for your papers. If your professor asks you to write a bibliography paper, it means that you have to provide a list of citations to articles and books. Every citation should be followed by a small description (about 150 words) that evaluates it. That is what an annotation is.

The main purpose of a bibliography paper is to show that the sources you use for paper are relevant and accurate. Annotations should be not only descriptive but also critical. They have to present the author’s point of view, show its clarity and authority.

The process of writing an annotated bibliography

Writing an annotated bibliography is all about using all of your evaluative intellectual skills: analyzing and deep library research. As a rule, annotated bibliography is a comparatively small document, which requires a deep research. Imagine that you have to read all the books, articles, and other scholarly documents before you write a 150 words comment on each of them.

The process of creating annotated bibliography requires attention and high writing skills. First, you have to find a branch of citations to documents and books that contain useful information on your topic. You should examine each of them and choose those that provide ideas on your topic.

You should cite the books, and articles using the appropriate formatting style. Remember, that annotated bibliography format could be various. Thus, APA style annotated bibliography is different from MLA style annotated bibliography. So don’t forget find an annotated bibliography sample and consult with guides on formatting before you start working.

Once you are through with the first stage, write a conscious annotation to every source you have found and summarize the basic theme. Include the following:

  • Evaluation of the author’s authority;
  • Comment about the supposed audience;
  • Comparison to other relevant book/article you have cited;
  • Explanation of the way this work supports your main topic.

If you have problems with formatting, you may find annotated bibliography example MLA or APA in the writing centers available online.

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