APA Annotated Bibliography – How to Format Properly

Last updated on August 11th, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Annotated bibliography

If you want to know the answer on the question “What is an annotated bibliography?”, here are some variants of the right answer on this question:

  1. It is a list of books, articles and other documents where each source is given a brief description and evaluation in order to show the quality, relevancy and accuracy of the sources presented.
  2. It is a list of works with descriptive and evaluative comments also called annotations.
  3. It is the list of sources that you use in the process of preparation for your term paper with clear indication of the importance and relevance of each source to your chosen topic.

It is important to remember that depending on the purpose of bibliography it should include one of the following issues or even all of them if necessary. The annotations should:
– summarize the information presented in the source;
– evaluate the source stressing on its most important issues;
– possess the author’s reflection on the applicability of the works to his or her individual research.

Additionally, in the paragraph(s) of your annotation you can:
– evaluate the background and authority of the author of some particular source;
– make your comments on the audience you and author intend to address;
– compare and contrast particular work with another source you include in your bibliography.

While writing an annotated bibliography in any formatting style, you should put all your text a bit on the right side in order for the author’s last name was the only text that appeared to be on the left from the very beginning of the line.

One of the most common formats to present an annotated bibliography is APA citation style. Here are some tips on how to write an annotated bibliography according to this style:

  1. Last names of the authors are written first, they are followed by the initials with point and comma (if there are several authors);
  2. You can cite up to seven authors’ names (in case if there are more than seven authors in some source of your annotated bibliography, you need to put ellipses between the 6th and the last author’s names);
  3. Your sources should be alphabetized by authors’ last names;
  4. If you include several works of the same author you need to put them in chronological order, starting from the earliest book or article;
  5. The titles of the journals should be presented in full;
  6. Only the first letter of the title of the book, article or web page should be capitalized;
  7. You should not italicize or underline the words in your annotated bibliography when writing in APA style.

MLA annotated bibliography

When you start working on the bibliography, the process of dealing with it can be the following:

  1. Search for the books and articles that may contain some useful information for your research (or any ideas connected to it);
  2. Review and examine those sources (you can do it briefly, not going into a thorough research);
  3. Among all the sources found choose the most relevant and appropriate for your research topic (usually such sources will cover it from the different perspectives);
  4. Cite the document (according to the required formatting style);
  5. Write a concise annotation including some of the obligatory issues listed above (depending on your purpose).

If you are wondering how to do an annotated bibliography in MLA citation style, here are some tips for you:

  1. You need to always double-space your citations and do not skip the spaces between the different entries;
  2. It is necessary to make indent of 0.5 inches for the second and following lines of the citation;
  3. In MLA style, you will need to include the page numbers for the sources in your annotated bibliography;
  4. If you provide the source from online database, you need to type the name of database in italics without providing any subscription information.

Chicago style annotated bibliography

As we have already mentioned, annotations should be concise – about 100-300 words each. Usually they would be about 150 words. We recommend you to always clarify the assignments’ guidelines as your professor may expect some special information to be included into your annotated bibliography, for example evaluation of the research methods that the author proposes in the source.

You need to clarify the annotated bibliography format as well. If your question is “How to make an annotated bibliography in Chicago style?”, here are the basic rules that you need to follow while doing it according to this style:

  1. Bibliographies in Chicago style should be single-spaced;
  2. Still the extra line between the entries should be left;
  3. All the entries should be listed in the alphabetical order by the first letters of each entry;
  4. If there are several authors to list “and” but not “&” is used;
  5. If there are up to three authors, they should be named all; from four authors, only the first author’s name is put followed by “et al.”;
  6. The source can be cited by its title if the author can’t be identified;
  7. Publishers’ names should be written in full;
  8. Access dates are used only if publication dates are unavailable;
  9. It’s better to use DOIs instead of URLs when it is possible;
  10. When you can’t include a page number, you can still specify by section, equation, volume or note.

As you can see writing an annotation bibliography requires a lot of intellectual skills such as thoughtful written reproduction, concise representation, factual analysis and deep library research. If you don’t have time or willingness to make headache for yourself doing all that, there is a good option – to order an annotated bibliography from experienced professionals! Our writers are always on the guard for your success! Don’t hesitate and place the order right now!

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