How to Make a Good Annotated Bibliography

The list of sources used for conducting a research is, as a rule, entitled as “References” or “Works Cited” and includes general information about the author, title, date of publication, the state, and the publisher, as well as the number of pages in the books, articles, manuals, used for composing this or that piece or other types of writing.

An annotated bibliography is quite a different kind of written assignment. It presupposes not only gathering and organizing existing publications, but also precisely summarizing them.

Thus, you will need to identify general information about the sources (author, title, etc.), and you can also add your own input from reading them. If you are to compose the annotated bibliography on a certain topic, you will need to critically evaluate every entry and present your own reflection in the paper. Also, you should present the bibliographical list in every entry individually. This means that if you want to analyze several sources at one time, you are free to do this.

Select the publications (both printed and electronic ones) carefully. They should be chosen from current, credible and respected scientific journals or almanacs which are closely related to the topic of your investigation. Try analyzing publications created in the recent past; these will illuminate the topic in the modern light of events.

The annotated bibliography is, in most cases, written in paragraph form. Typically, general information about the publication proceeded with comments and your personal evaluation is first. Moreover, the MLA and APA referencing and citation formats are frequently used for annotated bibliographies, and you may find corresponding guides for these formats on the Internet, to study them thoroughly .

Once completed, the annotated bibliography needs proofreading and double-checking. Such a “polishing” of the paper helps eliminate possible typographic, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. Editing the bibliography, based on your teacher’s or advisor’s feedback may also improve the entire structure and content of the paper.

Composing an annotated bibliography is a helpful process in the preparatory stage of every research. Before you choose the topic, you should become familiar with the already existing and published viewpoints and theories. This will help you draw your independent conclusions concerning the matter of investigation. In addition, critical evaluation of thoughts and concepts expressed by other authors will help you concentrate on the “core of the problem”. What is more, writing an annotated bibliography will give you experience in scientific publications composition. If you want to choose an academic or scientific career in the future, this will only add to your qualification.

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