7 Steps to Write a Perfect Annotated Bibliography
- Summarize the Sources: At the first instance, you have to choose the sources carefully and then make summaries out of these. You can do this by taking notes and pointing down important aspects of your sources. Make it such that anyone could understand what your work is all about by a mere glimpse of it.
- Citations: Citations reference from scholarly books, academic abstracts, scholarly articles, images of videos and websites. It is the list of the references that you are going to use which is required to support your argument. You have to cite the journals and periodicals using the style that has been asked for by your supervisor. The most widely used forms of citations are American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA) Some other popular forms of citations include the Chicago or Turabian Style, Associated Press (AP) style and Council of Science Editors. You have to make sure about the format of the citations. A general formal first includes the name of the author, then the full book title of the book or article, after that comes the date of publication of the latest revision of the book which can be found on the internet. You can organize your citations by using some methods such as by alphabetically, chronologically, by format, by the language or by sub-topic.
- Use an Annotated Bibliography: Using a little say, one-paragraphed information about your argument shall enrich your paper, and it shall also be easy for the readers. It also helps the reader to decide what sources they are going to use for further reference. In this regard, it should be noted that an annotated bibliography is not an abstract, Instead of providing a detailed summary, it is more informative and focused on a particular aspect of the topic. It shall be much better if you annotate each and every source of your bibliography.
- Assess the Author's Background and Credentials in an Annotation: In an annotated bibliography, using the author's experience and other credentials such as his or her educational and critical reviews. It shall be beneficial to both the readers and the writers. You can also mention the intellectual inclination of the author and the school of thought to which he or she belongs. This mere mention shall make your argument intellectually fertile and more enriched, and your thesis shall be accepted with a great applause.
- Make a list of the Central Themes and Main Arguments: By using these steps, you can give your readers a quick view of what your work is all about. You scan also outline the topic covered as they are used in your research question and make a molecular study about the work. You have to make it clear to the readers why you are using this particular book or article or journal to substantiate your arguments. Outline the importance of the particular source and make it easily readable by any range of readers. Make it approachable to all of them.
- Evaluate Each Source: Make a critical evaluation of each of the sources you are using. Under the subhead "bibliographically included" and make a note whether you the particular source has any glossary, index or bibliography. It there are any test devices or survey instruments, you should also make a note of that. You have to make velar the usefulness of a particular source in your research work. Let the readers know whether the information is biased or objective or whether it is reliable. Also, mention about the chronology of the books. It is important to note whether a particular source is current or outdated.
- Make a Proper Bibliography with All These Sources: After you are done with the evaluation of your source, you jot down all the sources and write an excellent bibliography out of it. Use these annotated sources in each of the points write it after each points. That shall enrich your article and make it more acceptable.
You should compile a bibliography when writing an essay, article, or research paper that relies heavily on source material. A bibliography is an alphabetized list of sources that have been used to compile data, typically in an article, essay, or research paper. This list is found at the end of the work and allows the person reviewing the data to verify the veracity of the statements and/or figures presented in the data itself. It also allows a writer to give proper credit for quotes or key phrases that have been written and presented in a source that they may have referenced in their paper so as to avoid plagiarism.
Bibliography for Books
The basic information you should cite when referencing a book includes; the author (surname first, followed by their given name or initials), the book title (in italics), the publisher, as well as the place and date of publication. Each section should be followed by a full stop. Your citation should look like this:
Smith, John Jacob Jingleheimer. Wu Xia and the Art of Scooter
Maintenance. New York: Springer, 2003.
Note how the first line is not indented, but subsequent lines are. This is the format for all multiple line citations, regardless of the source of the information.
Should the source have more than one author, your citation should appear as follows:
Smith, John Jacob Jingleheimer, and Cindy Lu. Wu Xia and the Art of
Scooter Maintenance. New York: Springer, 2003.
If there are more than two authors for your source, note your citation as follows:
Smith, John Jacob Jingleheimer et. al. Wu Xia and the Art of
Scooter Maintenance. New York: Springer, 2003.
Occasionally, you will come across a source without a listed author; this is especially common when citing newspaper articles and articles from the internet. When this happens, you should simply move to the next step of your citation.
Bibliography for Newspaper & Magazine Articles
For newspapers and magazines you should include the author, the article title (in quotation marks), the title of the newspaper or publication (in italics), the year of publication and the page numbers from which the information was gathered.
Doe, John. “How Do You Measure a Year in the Life?” The Sun Times.
2 July 2010: 1-3.
Bibliography for Online Resources
When you are citing an online source, do your best to include the following: the author, the title of the article or page, the web address or URL (in italics), and the date of publication.
Johnson, Mary Anne. “How to Bake the Perfect Souffle.”
http://www.foodnetwork.com/article/perfect_souffle. 20 February 2013.
Types of Bibliographies
There are two main types of bibliography formats: MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association).
- MLA format is typically used by those writing in the liberal arts or humanities community. It focuses on the author of the cited source material, in order to help the reader place him or her in the appropriate historical and philosophical context.
- APA format, on the other hand, is used more often in the social sciences and is useful for citing from journals and other such publications. Its focus is more on the research presented in the source and when it was released, rather than the individuals who conducted it.
Regardless of the format used, every bibliography citation has to have a minimum amount of identifying information. The source matters when it comes to formatting the entry — book titles are underlined, article titles are in quotation marks — and determines what information is needed (for example: a book's publisher vs. a web page's URL).
Write down the citation information for each source as you review it, whether or not you think you will actually use it; it will keep your notes more organized and help you find information quickly when you're doing your actual writing. Plus, it is good practice! The more you practice citation, the less of a chore it will be at the end of a hard paper.