Creating an annotated bibliography is an inevitable part of lots of different types of academic papers. However, many students often face difficulties with writing a correct and precise annotated bib. In this post, we will provide you with some basic prompts on how to write a bibliography with a minimum effort. Just follow these simple rules and forget about any issues related to bib with your academic papers. All the information provided below will suit even beginners with little to no writing experience.
Before You Start
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The Basic Facts about Bibliography
Should your paper contain a bib? What is an annotated bibliography? It is a particular list of citations to various sources that were used for creating your academic paper. As a rule, these are citations to articles, books, documents, and other reliable sources of information. Each citation has a descriptive paragraph, also called annotation. It is designed to provide the reader with brief information about the sources used. It shouldn’t be too wordy – about 140-250 words will be a perfect fit for each citation. Most citations contain this data:
- Brief information about the source
- The strengths and weaknesses of the source
- Conclusion and a personal summary about it
- Other data
The Main Purposes of a Bibliography
When writing a bib, many students are wondering why they need to do this task. Actually, bib has lots of different purposes:
- Help you compose a perfect thesis
- Show off your research skills
- Come up with examples of the sources used when preparing your paper
- Describe the sources other researchers might find useful
Furthermore, creating a precise and concise bibliography will definitely polish your writing skills. This is your personal benefit that will be surely great for composing future academic papers.
How to Pick up Annotated Bibliography Format?
Crowds of students are feeling stuck when choosing a format for their bib. However, it is easier than you might think. There are only two most common formats you can use in your essay. These are informative and critical.
The informative format describes the particular features of your source. In this case, you will need to summarize the source, come up with some facts about why you chose this source, and show off some personal conclusions about it.
The critical format is designed not only for providing the summaries but also to analyze your sources. Feel free to describe the author’s conclusions and discover both the strong and weak points of your source.
Please note that when writing a bib, you are likely to use both formats for your annotation.
As for the formatting style for your bib, you can choose from APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. However, this requirement is usually provided by your professor. Therefore, lookup for this information in your essay guidelines.
Best Prompts on How to Make a Perfect Annotated Bib
Different authors write bib in completely different ways. However, there are still some universal techniques used by most students and writing professionals.
Create a List of Sources
When writing a bibliography, the most important thing is to make a list of your sources. It is also worth mentioning that many writers create a bibliography before writing the body of their academic paper. Some sources might appear to be not suitable for adding to the bibliography, while the others will surely become perfect options. After that, you will need to make more advanced research and analysis of the citations that suit your topic. To make your bib perfect, make sure to double-check these parameters:
- Use the freshest sources available
- Pick up only reputable solutions (both authors and publishers)
- Your sources should correspond to the main topic of your research
Compose the Descriptions
An annotated bib can be written in different ways. The first option is using direct phrases that are not tightly connected to each other. The second option is to write complete sentences. In case you don’t know which alternative will better suit your academic paper, you can ask your teacher for advice. Annotations usually include the main arguments taken from a certain source, some extra facts, and your personal evaluation.
Additional prompts for creating a nice annotation:
- Don’t make it too long. A classical annotation shouldn’t exceed one paragraph.
- Avoid adding too many details – try to make brief summaries
- Use a proper formatting style recommended by your professor
You can also use these techniques to pick up the argument for your source:
- Select the author’s research question. In case you don’t know which one fits your paper most, pay attention to your introduction. This secret trick will help you choose the thesis
- Stick to the main terms used by the author. You can also add them to your bibliography for the best effect. Focus on the main ideas and the most important facts described by the author.
- In case you don’t know where to start, pay attention to the text structure used by the author. What is the emphasis? Then dive deeper into the content to discover the argument.
- Explore the methods used for investigating the issues described in the text.
- Focus on the first sentence mentioned in each paragraph. As a rule, it contains all the information you need to know
All in all, creating an excellent annotated bibliography is not an easy task for most young learners. However, in case you follow all the prompts mentioned above, you are likely to complete your task in no time. In case you are feeling lost in all your sources or just tired from completing all your assignments, using professional writing services might be a good idea. Writing an annotated bibliography by yourself or with the help of other writers is always up to you.