Writing an Annotated Bibliography for High School and College
The need to write an annotated bibliography may come up in the first years of college. School students barely face this assignment. College professors are interested in the way learners search for, collect, select, and analyze information for their research papers. An annotated bibliography might be a part of a research project or a separate assignment.
What writing an annotated bibliography feels like? It is a list of citations of different sources that a student or scientist may use to conduct a study on various topics. If you have a look at the annotated bibliography sample, you will find out that it looks like a Works Cited page with some nuances. An annotation pops up after every cited source. The purpose is to summarize or evaluate books, journals, scholarly articles, and other types of content used in research.
When you write annotated bibliographies, you should know why you do that:
- To review the literature on a specific topic
- Exemplify the scope of the study and content
- Show the quality and depth of your research project
- Investigate and arrange sources for future explorations
- Offer sources that might be interesting for others who study the same problem
If you manage to hit those targets, you will succeed with this type of task. To ease and speed up the process, it is possible to download an annotated bibliography template online and simply fill it out entry by entry. Here are some examples of annotated bibliographies that will help you:
Every new entry has to be concise and clear. That is not an essay, but a summary of your research. An average length of an annotation is one paragraph, which is typically 5-6 lines, and a writer should not exceed those limitations. It is critical to add all annotated bibliography entries in alphabetical order with respect to the writer's surname. Do not make each summary longer than 200 words! Some nuances may depend on the required citation format, and a teacher should state it in the requirements.
If you have to come up with an annotated bibliography MLA (Modern Language Association), it will remind you of a Works Cited page. You can check out the MLA Formatting and Style Guide by clicking the embedded link. As for the annotated bibliography APA (American Psychological Association), it might take more time and effort to create one. Read this APA citation guide for good APA bibliography layouts and examples.
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Kerr, Don, and Roderic Beaujot. "Child Poverty and Family Structure in Canada, 1981-1997." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 34.3 (2003): 321-335.
Sociology professors cooperate in evaluating the demographics of citizens living in poverty. They apply figures from the official report shared by Canada's annual Survey of Consumer Finances. Kerr and Beaujot took into account to a number of parents, their age, and the number of children. The goal was to assess the poverty rates of families with respect to demographics and economic problems in the regions. The two professors argue that kids who live in incomplete families tend to suffer from poverty more than those who have both a mother and a father.
As you can see, in case you have to prepare your work in MLA style, you should use the left margin each time you start another annotation. That is an example of how you cite a book article in your reference list. From this example, we can sum up that an entry for an annotated bibliography includes:
- Author's last name and first name
- The full title of the book or specific article
- Name of the book, journal, magazine, etc.
- Year of publication
- An issue, volume, etc.
- A brief summary of the source in one paragraph
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