What Does Annotated Bibliography Stand for & How to Write It

What Does Annotated Bibliography Stand for & How to Write It
Table of Contents
  1. What Does Annotated Bibliography Stand for & How to Write It
  2. Why Bibliography Is an Important Task
  3. Bibliography Styles
  4. APA Reference List
  5. Bibliography: MLA Format
  6. Format Examples
  7. Chicago Bibliography Styles
  8. To Sum Up

The research paper is one of the most common academic writing assignments. But there is a plenter of other tasks like an annotated bibliography. This paper looks like it is a list of primary and secondary sources on a specific subject that can be applied to the particular sphere of education. The best approach to writing such a task with each clearly cited reference is to pretend you are a tutor who is recommending literature to be used for the accuracy of research.

Sure thing, you should better read another article like this one to have more information on how to prepare a correct piece or for example information about homework should be banned. But if you know how to choose the best source out of all relevant and up-to-date sources, then you’re half the way. Of course, writing skills are also required. Thus, sometimes it is better to get a pro-grade help with homework.

Annotated bibliography is a useful paper for lengthy research papers or dissertations. It can be 2-3 pages long with accurately chosen and properly listed sources. Still, it is a separate assignment with its own format which can help students earn additional points throughout the course.

Unlike essays or research papers, writing this sort of task does not always require citing text. It’s rather a summary or an objective review of each used source:

  • Textbook;
  • Non-academic book;
  • Journal, newspaper or magazine article;
  • Audio;
  • Lecture;
  • Video/film;
  • Website;
  • Other.

Each entry has to be carefully formatted with respect to the required academic writing style. To remind, those are: APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, ASA format, and others. The language should be concise and clear.

There is a big difference between how you cite textbook and Wikipedia or other internet sources. On the whole, each bibliography entry looks this way:

  1. A reference to the source just like you do at the end of each essay or research paper writing (authors, date, title, etc.);
  2. A brief summary (a section which includes 300-500 words) of the source. It can even be 2-3 sentences in length. If the student wants, he may cite a strong point. It depends on the length of the source and ability to include the main ideas in just a couple of paragraphs.

Important: a student is also encouraged to add his own critique to show personal awareness of both particular sources in the bibliography and subject. You may mention why this content might be useful to observe a particular topic with the help of bibliography.

Don’t forget that the process of writing this type of assignment requires all sources to be named in alphabetical order.

Teachers and professors usually assign this sort of paper for several different reasons like to make students provide valuable and logical feedback to the works cited. In other words, they want to see how students explain and select the sources.

Second, this assignment allows students to find, choose, and use databases to place peer-reviewed pieces, as well as correctly format Works Cited or Reference pages.

Why Bibliography Is an Important Task

Bibliographies are assigned within a great variety of disciplines. People who conduct research on a professional level and journalists also need to write down this type of work. The best authors on the market possess knowledge which is not limited by humanitarian or scientific subjects only. These writers possess a wide area of expertise, including even the narrowest subjects like Gender Studies or E-commerce. Because of the emerging technological progress and changing viewpoints, students have to pick only the latest sources for their bibliography. Each one should be no more than 5 years old.

No matter whether you are a student from the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, you have to use only classical English when writing such academic assignments as a bibliography. Mind your vocabulary, grammar, a particular subject, and writing style. The paper has to contain 100% unique content.

Writing an annotated bibliography can be really cheap in case you decide to order one online. Thus, get armed to the teeth with the best writing experts by your side!

Bibliography Styles

Each of these different styles has a different format for writing a bibliography. Make sure that the bibliography style matches the format of your paper. Although students may think every style uses a bibliography, in fact, different styles follow different formats. MLA 8 uses a Works Cited page, which lists the source entries in alphabetical order. In APA, references are listed alphabetically in a Reference list. Chicago/Turabian style uses either the author-date style, which uses a Reference list or the notes-bibliography style, which uses a Bibliography.

APA Reference List

The most popular reference list is found in the American Psychological Association writing style. Founded in 1929, in the Psychological Bulletin, the APA style is designed for psychology, education, social science and technical research. This style breaks down formatting citations for journals, books, manuals and other technical sources. That’s not to say, though, that there isn’t formatting for sources like blogs and photographs; APA just makes citing statistics, research findings and technical reports easier. It isn’t just the citation either. The tone and word usage are also regulated by APA style format. For example, APA style writing should use non-biased writing and an active voice.

When creating a reference list in APA, the author and date are the first things that you will see. This is because the in-text citations follow the author-date format. Formatting sources for citation pages will follow a unique format whether you are listing a journal, book, web page or blog.

Examples of citations in APA include:

  • Book: Calfee, R. C. (1991). APA guide. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Magazine article: Henry, W. (2001, April 19). Making the grade. Time, 135, 28-31.

Bibliography: MLA Format

Your list of works cited should begin at the end of the paper on a new page with the centered title, Works Cited. Alphabetize the entries in your list by the author's last name, using the letter-by-letter system (ignore spaces and other punctuation.) If the author's name is unknown, alphabetize by the title, ignoring any A, An, or The.

For dates, spell out the names of months in the text of your paper, but abbreviate them in the list of works cited, except for May, June, and July. Use either the day-month-year style (22 July 1999) or the month-day-year style (July 22, 1999) and be consistent. With the month-day-year style, be sure to add a comma after the year unless another punctuation mark goes there.

Underlining or Italics? - When reports were written on typewriters, the names of publications were underlined because most typewriters had no way to print italics. If you write a bibliography by hand, you should still underline the names of publications. But, if you use a computer, then publication names should be in italics as they are below. Always check with your instructor regarding their preference of using italics or underlining. Our examples use italics.

Capitalization, Abbreviation, and Punctuation - The MLA guidelines specify using title case capitalization - capitalize the first words, the last words, and all principal words, including those that follow hyphens in compound terms. Use lowercase abbreviations to identify the parts of a work (e.g., vol. for volume, ed. for editor) except when these designations follow a period. Whenever possible, use the appropriate abbreviated forms for the publisher's name (Random instead of Random House).

Separate author, title, and publication information with a period followed by one space. Use a colon and a space to separate a title from a subtitle. Include other kinds of punctuation only if it is part of the title. Use quotation marks to indicate the titles of short works appearing within larger works (e.g., "Memories of Childhood." American Short Stories). Also use quotation marks for titles of unpublished works and songs.

Format Examples


Author's last name, first name. Book title. Additional information. City of publication: Publishing company, publication date.


Allen, Thomas B. Vanishing Wildlife of North America. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1974.

Boorstin, Daniel J. The Creators: A History of the Heroes of the Imagination. New York: Random, 1992.

Chicago Bibliography Styles

Chicago and Turabian. These are two separate styles but are very similar. These are widely used for history and economics. Chicago bibliographies are a good general style. It also works for different fields like history, anthropology, theology and philosophy. Chicago is good for web sources, along with audiovisual sources, lectures and even recordings. Examples of formatting for a Chicago bibliography are:

Example – Web page:
Heck, Jim. “About the Philosophical Gourmet Report.” Last modified July 8, 2011. http://rgheck.frege.org/philosophy/aboutpgr.php.

Example – Facebook:
Chicago Manual of Style. “Is the world ready?” Facebook, April 19, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

To Sum Up

Regardless of what subject you're writing for, you should use the style your university and tutor recommend and you must not mix-and-match. At the moment CollegeHomeworkHelp generates references for the APA, MLA, and Harvard referencing systems only.

If you quote or paraphrase another author's work without including a reference to it you are plagiarising. Not only is it very easy to detect plagiarism, but it is also very easy for your tutor to spot it just by reading your work. Remember - you are not being marked on your ability to write facts or show off what you know. Any assumptions or facts you state must have someone else's credible work to back you up.