Having to write an annotated bibliography for the first time can be intimidating and working on it usually raises a lot of questions: Where to begin? What can I do? What can’t I do? A lot of students do not have a clear idea of how this works, so we have put together an “annotated bibliography for dummies” guide that will help you start.
First of all, let’s shed some light on what an annotated bibliography really is and how it is different from other types of bibliography. An annotated bibliography is different from the straightforward one because it comes with concise annotations added to the reference list.
An annotation is a short text, which offers a brief overview on the purpose of the cited text, what the central ideas of the material are and how the author approached them. If you immediately thought of it like being the abstract you can find at the beginning of an academic article, you are almost right, but an annotation is usually more than a descriptive summary. While you can write a purely descriptive annotation, it helps a lot if you add your critical personal view, as it shows that you have truly researched your thesis or essay and have put thought into it.
The two main types of annotations are descriptive and evaluative. Here are the key elements for each:
So far, these are the elements of a descriptive annotation. To write an evaluative annotation you have to add some personal impressions and comments.
Common mistakes while writing an annotated bibliography are directly related to drifting from its definition. Adding up irrelevant pieces of information or omitting the required one might provide you with a negative review, so make sure all the references have correct annotations.
And keep in mind that you can avoid any mistakes with the help of our automated Free Citation Generator.