Steps and tips for writing annotated bibliography

Definition of annotated bibliography

Annotated bibliography is a way of listing the resources used in a research paper. It provides an overview of the resources you intend to use in the research work. Annotated bibliography can take different forms depending on the formatting style used such as MLA bibliography for MLA format and Reference List for APA format. The listed sources contain information about the author, the year of publishing, title and subtitle among others. In most cases the annotation is descriptive and gives a highlight of the listed source.

Purpose of annotated bibliography

Annotated bibliographies require deep understanding of the source in order to give a precise and short description of the content.  Therefore, it sharpens the analytical skills of the researcher by identifying relevant sources and evaluating them to fit in the research topic. For students, a good annotated bibliography communicates your research abilities to the instructor and enables them to assess your skills thoughtfully. Annotated bibliography is also useful for creating a good directory for your readers to access quality information about your sources and use in their own research work.

Steps for writing annotated bibliography

Step 1: Analyze your sources

The first step to writing an annotated bibliography is to analyze the source. As you research for relevant sources for your research work, evaluate the source content and take notes. This can be achieved by evaluating the publication of the source, the author, date of publication and content. These factors play an important role in determining the quality of your paper. For instance, a more recent resource will be valuable for your research especially in a science paper where new methods and formulas are continuously developed. The publication and author are important for ensuring the credibility of the paper and the content for relevance to your research topic.

Here some questions to consider in the initial assessment of the source:

  1. What qualifications does the author have to write the paper?
  2. What is the reputation of the institution the author is affiliated to?
  3. How current is the source?
  4. How reputable is the journal?
  5. How reputable is the publisher?

The following questions should be considered for content assessment:

  1. Who is the audience for the paper?
  2. What is the evidence provided by the author to substantiate the facts?
  3. Is the paper objective without bias?
  4. Is it a new research or the author presented research of others and if it was other people’s research were the sources credible?
  5. How does the source help in answering your research question?
  6. Are the sources providing new information or challenging your beliefs on your topic?
  7. How is the source different from other sources?

Step 2: provide descriptions

After answering the key questions in step 1, step 2 involves creating descriptions in form of phrases or short sentences summarizing the relevant sources. The description should cover the key points discussed in the source, the approach applied by the author and findings identified. A standard annotation should take about a paragraph discussing the main points. You should ensure that the annotation provides a succinct summary of the source without adding any unnecessary information.

Step 3: format the annotated bibliography

MLA Annotated bibliography

The following guidance should be followed for MLA annotated bibliography:

  • Every annotation comes after its reference
  • The reference page should be titled as “Annotated List of Works Cited” or “Annotated Bibliography”
  • All text should be double spaced
  • Annotations should not exceed a paragraph
  • Annotations should have one inch indentation from the start
  • Source can be organized alphabetically by publication date, first word or subject

Below is an example of an MLA annotated bibliography:

Silvello, Giovanni Casagrande, Alves, Alex da Silva, & Alcarde, André Ricardo. Integrated

      technology roadmapping in startups: a case study of an AgTech in the Cachaça

      industry, 2021

Giovanni, Alex, and Andre, in the study provide a roadmap for technology and innovation with a focus on startups. They advise that new companies face uncertain growth scenarios which require that their frameworks, technology management and innovation culture are aligned with the overall technology roadmap. The authors conducted research on a startup in Sao Paulo, Brazil by collecting empirical evidence, interviewing its stakeholders and reviewing literature. Through their study which focused on the Cachaca also known as the sugarcane spirits industry in Brazil, they explored the innovative use of technology in products and operations and how such innovations can be linked with growth and competitive advantage. The information provided by the authors is useful in developing a technology roadmap especially for upcoming companies in the Beverage Industry.

APA  Annotated bibliography

The APA requires that the annotated bibliography be formatted based on their reference page rules. They include:

  • Annotations should be indented by half an inch from left
  • Annotations should not exceed one paragraph
  • All text should be double spaced
  • ●        Any other line after the first one should be indented half an inch from left
  • Annotation page should be titled “Annotated Bibliography ” at the center
  • References should be organized alphabetically

Below is an example of an APA annotated bibliography:

Higgins, D and Lovejoy, K. (2021) How can technology make transformation more

human?: A proactive, empathetic, human-centered technology strategy is needed to equip organizations with a stronger competitive edge.

Dan Higgins and Kris Lovejoy in their research emphasize on the need of human-centered, empathetic and proactive technology strategy to improve the competitive edge of organizations. They advise that it is only by having such a technology transformation approach that companies can learn to adapt their operations and build resilience during crises such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They recommend four strategies for technology transformation including using data to power innovation, use Artificial intelligence to drive growth, explore new opportunities through partnerships and prepare for cybersecurity risk. Their technology transformation strategy is useful to companies to prepare for uncertainties and use the opportunity to improve their competitive advantage.

Sample of Annotated Bibliography

Follow the link to download a sample of annotated bibliography

(Visited 179 times, 1 visits today)