Writing an annotated bibliography essay scares many students due to three main reasons as highlighted below.
First, most students do not understand the format of the annotated paper. Are you aware that each source summary has hanging indentation? This makes annotated essay one of the most unique paper when it comes to formatting.
Secondly, most students find it challenging to come up with an annotated outline. Mark you, an outline is very key when it comes to annotated paper.
Thirdly, many students do not know where to start and what to include in summarizing a source. Imagine summarizing a whole article in 150 -200 words! This scares many students.
Below is a complete guide on how to go about the above questions to write an excellent annotated essay.
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What is an annotated bibliography?
The phrase is derived from two separate words; bibliography and annotation. Bibliography generally refers to the collection of sources that a writer uses in research. Annotation simply refers to giving a summary. Therefore, an annotated bibliography is an evaluation of each source used in research separately.
Annotated Bibliography Outline
- Appearance: The annotation (summary of the source) appears just beneath the source. In the word document, write the source first. Then just below it, start writing the first sentence.
- Indentation: indent the source to flash with the second sentence of the source. Remember to reference the sources using the “hanging” style in a word document.
- No bibliography page: You don’t require a bibliography page at the end of the paper since an annotated bibliography is a summary of references.
- Length: The annotated bibliography should not be more than 150 words per reference. Notwithstanding, ensure that you capture all the relevant points within that single paragraph of 150 words.
- Number of Sentences: A good annotated paper has an average of two-to-four sentences per annotation. That is enough to guarantee 150 words and a single paragraph as mentioned above.
- Reference Style: Your professor will require you to write an annotated essay in a certain format. Therefore, format your annotated essays either on MLA, or APA referencing styles or any other format that your tutor desires.
- Language: Use the third person when writing annotated papers.
- Tense: A good annotated bibliography uses the present tense. An example of using the present tense will be:
- “This article elaborates…”
- “The author of this article talks about…”
Tips on how to write annotated Outline
Summary and evaluation are the two tasks you require when writing an annotated essay. Below are checklists you should consider to effectively write the summary and evaluation.
a). Tips on writing an annotated paper summary
This section should be between 2 to 4 sentences. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them.
- Is the book/article/site talking about?
- Are the main theme/arguments/ideas covered in this book?
- What are the main topics of this article/book?
b). Tips on evaluating a source in an annotated bibliography
- This section should be no more than two sentences
- Evaluation should answer the following three questions
- Is this bibliography a reliable source about the topic?
- Is the source objective or subjective in presenting the information?
- What is the ultimate aim/theme of this source?