How to Write a University Annotated Bibliography

After writing down your paper, you were tasked to submit the annotated bibliography by the professor. Having no idea what an annotation is, you quickly browse the internet and happen to come upon this article so without further adieu, before writing it down, you first must have to know what an annotated bibliography is and how it differs from certain parts of the paper like the abstract.

Experts from sure that an annotation is not just a summary of a book, or even an article or any other sort of publicized work, it gives information on whether or not the reader should or should not read the entire piece. Basically, an annotation explains the usefulness of a research paper or even other publications, really.

To differentiate an annotation from an abstract, though both entities summarize a piece of work, abstracts are completely and irrevocably descriptive. Just because abstracts are descriptive does not mean annotations cannot be as well; however, the more unique feature of this portion of the paper is that it can be objective as in evaluative and provide criticism on how we look at the essay based on different perspectives.

So enough of the dilly-daddy, now let me dicuss how you should write your annotated bibliography:

  1. The first step is to choose all the resources.

In writing the bibliography, you should choose all your reliable resources. I highly suggest you choose secondary and primary resources (mostly works which provides an evaluation and analysis of your topic though) for any projects you may have. You can choose any materials really be it a book or even a journal downloaded online such as in JStor, Elsevier, or even SAGE Publications. There are so many databases available online that you might take hours just downloading these resources.

Also, remember that in choosing your source, you have to be VERY meticulous about it. Almost ALL details count but look mostly for key concepts of the paper, including the recommendations so you know what the paper lacks be it on methodology or output of results.

  1. Write the citation and annotation

In writing the annotation, you should complete citing the author(s) first and the format highly depends on what your professor demands of you but always include the following:

  • Author, Date of Publication, Title of the Work, Publisher, DOI or ISBN, and Link of Website (If there are any).

As for writing the annotation itself, always include these:

  • The purpose of the paper
  • Summary of the context with emphasis on key pointers
  • For whom was the paper generally written
  • All pointers which make the paper unique than the rest of possible counterparts
  • Positive and negative points of the paper with emphasis on how it was written
  • Relevance of the paper on the chosen topic

As stated earlier, an annotation is basically a mesh of objectively written summary and explains all the points and essence of the paper which includes rhetoric, theories or the like. Make it a point to ALWAYS, and I mean, ALWAYS put emphasis on every characteristic that pops out or information that etches in your brain to the readers because that will be useful for them on whether or not the essay will be worth reading.