An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

More than summaries, each entry should demonstrate your critical awareness of the sources related to the topic and their various connections. Consider the following steps in writing your own annotated bibliography:

  1. Content: Provide a thorough summary of the source, including information about the author(s), the main points and/or the hypothesis or purpose of the study, the methods and data used, and the findings and implications.
  2. Comparison: Point out the comparisons and contradictions between and among sources—that is, what essay writeris saying or not saying about a particular topic and how it relates to other research sources you’ve found. Doing so demonstrates you know and can enter scholarly and scientific “conversations,” and it will position this source within those conversations.
  3. Commentary: Comment on the usefulness of each source to your particular topic and how it will help you communicate your ideas to a larger audience. For example, does it support or counter your argument and how so? Does it provide background information, present useful data, and offer new insights or a different perspective?


Components of a Good Annotated Bibliography

Here are some of the rules any essay writing service recommends writers to use in their annotated bibliography:

  1. You must follow the citation details that follow the rules of your chosen style guide (such as MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago etc.). Make sure you use the correct formatting and double check with the required style guides.
  2. The purpose of the cited paper is a short, concise sentence. You can mention the hypothesis of the research and the scope of the author.
  3. Your reading experience with the cited paper. Write about how easily the author makes the research understood, what the audience of the paper is and what you think about it. Do not risk writing annotations for papers you have not actually read – the purpose of an annotated bibliography is proving that your research is well-documented.
  4. An evaluation of the author’s work. For an annotation to be more than a summary, you need to add your critical point of view on it. Write about the limitations of the research or what you think the weak points are.
  5. Conclusions of the research, if available, and how valuable they are for your own paper.
  6. Connect the cited work with your own research. Present how the referenced paper adds value to your research, how you have applied the author’s findings to your theory or, on the contrary, how your research contradicts the cited paper.


Common problems that result in a bad annotated bibliography

There are some mistakes that most free essay writer make while writing down their annotated bibliography. Some of these mistakes that should be avoided are as follows:

  1. When adding annotated bibliography to a paper, you should not confuse the annotation with the abstract. They are not the same things, even though both look like a summary. An annotated bibliography offers critical description and lots of details, whereas an abstract only summarizes.
  2. You should not craft an annotated bibliography without having read the source carefully first. Reading and taking notes is a critical part of the process, and if you do not do this, you risk writing incorrect information.
  3. Do not confuse an annotated bibliography with a literature review. A review is incredibly detailed and extensive, whereas an annotation is more concise and shorter.
  4. Formatting styles can prevent you from writing a great annotated bibliography. It might be a good idea to learn more about APA and MLA styles to be sure you are doing everything right.