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The guide on how to write an annotated bibliography

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It is a common knowledge that writing a perfect annotated bibliography template is considered to be quite a challenging task for the high school students or college undergraduates. First of all, it is necessary to provide a detailed explanation of this notion. The annotated template implies the list of sources (books, scholarly journal articles, governmental publications) put in the alphabetical order.

The important thing that should be mentioned is the fact that it is critical to have a good understanding of the difference between the annotation and the abstract. While the annotated bibliography implies a brief description that is usually followed by the critical part, the abstract is regarded as a concise synopsis of a particular source.

How to Start Creating the Annotated Bibliography?

In this part of the paper, you can find the list of steps that will be useful for you in the process of creating the annotated outline template.

1. Identify the scope of the annotated bibliography and its purpose.

First of all, you have to consider the scope of your potential paper. Think about the number of sources you would like to use. Identifying the scope of the annotated bibliography is a great pre-writing activity since it will help you save your time. In this case, you won’t read a number of the irrelevant materials in the pursuit of the proper sources. Identifying a purpose of the bibliography annotated is another key element of the pre-writing stage.

2. You may use the specific cards to organize the list of your sources.

Evidently, you will need to create the annotated bibliography list. In general, the source cards are considerably useful since they will provide all the details needed for creating the works cited list.

3. Make a reasonable amount of notes while looking through the sources you have chosen.

General Structure of the Annotated Bibliography

Generally speaking, this type of the academic writing consists of two main parts. One section implies the bibliographical information. In addition, represents the reference of a particular source introduced either in the MLA format or the APA writing style. Another section of the bibliography template that is titled as an annotation should include several explanatory paragraphs.

The important thing is that a good annotation should provide three main elements that include a summary, evaluation, and reflection. Below you can find a brief explanation of all the sections mentioned above.

  1.  Summary: When you look through the examples of the annotated bibliography, you can notice that each of them contains a brief summary of a particular source.
  2. Evaluation: In order to write a good annotated bibliography, and particularly the evaluation section, you will have to apply your critical thinking skills and analyze the source from this perspective.
  3. Reflection: In this case, while creating the annotation, you will have to explain how each of the sources was useful for writing a paper on your research topic.

Common Types of the Annotated Bibliographies

In general, there are two main types of the annotated bibliography. The first one is the descriptive or informative annotation. Needless to say, that this type of the annotated bibliography provides a brief summary of a particular source and explains the major findings of the author. In turn, another type is the analytical annotated bibliography. In this case, the writers should apply their critical thinking skills to submit a good college assignment.

The Annotated Bibliography: MLA and APA Formats

To begin with, it is a well-known fact that some college assignments require the use of different writing styles and formats. However, in the most cases, being assigned with creating the annotated bibliography, you will have to use only two paper styles – the MLA and the APA formats.

It is evident that writing any college assignment takes a significant amount of time. Hence, if you are often assigned with writing the annotated bibliographies, it would be a great idea to create the templates for your papers. While creating the templates, it is required to become familiar with the key guiding principles and attempt to follow them.

Taking into account the MLA format, it is important to arrange the information according to a specific structure. Usually, this specific structure should include the name of the author, the main title of the resource, the information about the author, resource version, number, the information about the publisher, date of publishing, and location.

In turn, the APA format is often used by the students that study social sciences. While writing the annotated bibliography, it is needed to provide a brief explanation of a particular source and make the readers understand the significance of the research. Do not forget to mention the methods that the authors used in their research. Apart from that, it is important to provide the evaluation of some positive aspects of every source provided in your bibliography.

The List of Useful Post-writing Activities

When your annotated bibliography is already written, proofread it to make certain that is can be submitted. Hence, you are highly recommended to check if:

  • You have used a proper reference style;
  • You have considered the structure and purpose of the paper while completing the task;
  • The evaluation section is objective and reliable; you have to prove to the readers that your paper is relevant.
  • You have included the reflection section;
  • Your annotated bibliography does not have any spelling, punctuation, and grammatical mistakes.

Sample Annotated Bibliography Template

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