How to Write Annotated Bibliography Essay

0 Comments 08/31/2021

Each scientific document has its own value and importance, which means that it is necessary to draw them up correctly, with high quality and structure. When talking about annotated bibliography, it is important to first understand what it is. An annotated bibliography provides a summary or analysis of sources. All the most important and key things should be briefly contained in your bibliography and at the same time give a complete understanding of what is being discussed in your work.

Annotated Bibliography Essay

An annotated bibliography is a list of references to journals, books, journal articles, and other documents followed by a short paragraph that supports your essay.

Templates and types of annotated bibliography

It is important not to confuse annotated bibliography template with a regular bibliography or cited works.

A regular bibliography is simply a list of cited sources. Nothing more. There are no more in-depth details about the books or sources mentioned.

During the essay writing process, keep in mind that the annotated bibliography consists of several more parts. This is easy to understand from the meaning of the word “annotation” – a note added to a text, book, picture, etc., as a comment or explanation.

Initially, the abstract begins with a regular bibliographic reference. It then includes a summary and clear assessment of the source you used to research the topic of your essay. The purpose of adding your own summary and analysis after the primary or secondary source is to define the scope of the topic and how it applies to your research. You should add an annotation every time you create a new source but be careful not to make it too long. It should help your intended audience to quickly find useful information, and not confuse them.

The easiest way to create an annotated bibliography in Microsoft Word is to use a template. This is a huge time-saver, but it’s always best to create one from scratch and hone your skills for a research project as you write. You must take care of choosing the right documentation style for your research. There are differences between APA, AMA, and MLA Styles. However, as a rule, bibliographic information about the source (title, author, publisher, date, etc.) is recorded in MLA or APA format.

APA Link Style Guide

The APA style was created in 1929 with the aim of creating simple and understandable rules for the design of scientific publications.

APA’s linking rules are based on the author-year system, which means that the name of the author and the date of creation of the source is indicated inside the text: (Hemingway, 1992).

The link should be indicated for each paragraph or sentence that is not written by the author of the work or in the formulation of which other people’s thoughts and ideas were used. For a paragraph, a link is added after a period, for a sentence – at the end of a sentence before a period or in the middle, depending on the wording of the text (Ainsaar, 2016), for example:

·        According to scholars, evaluators are not interested in the quality of the content – they are more focused on indicators (*author*, 2000).

In the case of a quote, you must indicate the page number from which the main points are taken. The number is indicated after the year and is separated by a colon:

·       Uustalu (2013: 15) writes that “…..”.

If numbered links are used, then it is easier to link within the text:

·       In 2013, Uustalu wrote that … [1].

Or together with the page number:

·        In 2013, Uustalu wrote that … [1,15].

It makes no difference where the quote is taken from, from paper sources, literature review, or from the Internet – you need to refer to it in any case! If a web page was used, then the author and year must also be indicated.

If the author is not indicated in the source, then it is necessary to refer to the name and year. The source should be well studied, the author can also indicate the organization or owner of the web page.

For example:

Who are we referring to


One work and one author

*Author* (*year*)

Several authors

*Author and author* (*year*)

Work has more than 6 authors

*Author* et al. (*year*)

The work is without an author

Write in brackets “title of the work and year”

MLA style

MLA style of referencing is widespread in the humanities, especially in the field of language and literature. Inline MLA-style text links are placed in brackets behind the quote or sentence, but the content of the link may vary depending on the type of source used. The reference list of used sources is arranged in alphabetical order.

For example, when it comes to linking to materials in a sample paper document, the “author-page number” style of links is used, where the text link in brackets indicates the author of the publication/article and the page number used without a comma:

·     Poetry of the romantic age can be characterized as a spontaneous outburst of powerful feelings (Wordsworth 263).

If the author is already indicated in the text, only the page number will remain in parentheses when MLA works cited:

·      According to Wordsworth, the poetry of the romantic age can be characterized as a spontaneous outburst of powerful feelings (263).

If the author is an organization, then the name of the organization (or an abbreviation) and the page number are indicated in brackets: (*name* 24).

If there is no author in this work, then you need to use the first words of the title in quotes, then add the page number:

·       There are more locations in North America that are affected by climate change as more information about climate change can be obtained there and a lot of research has been done on the subject. (“Impact of Global Warming” 6).

If there are several authors with the same surname, then the initials of the name are added: (E. Smith 32).

If there are multiple authors, there are two options: for both authors, the names of both authors and the page number are indicated:

·      The authors argue that superficial reading … (*author and author* 77).

·     *The author and the author* argue that the text should be read … (77).

If there are more than two authors, then the name of the first author is indicated and for others, the Latin abbreviation “et al” is added:

·      (Hemingway et al 127).

·     According to Franck et al. … (327).

When using several works of one author, indicate the title of the work or article and the page number. The title of the book is written in italics, and the title of the article is in quotation marks:

·     All important things in this world are made of truth and joy, not fabric and glass. (“There’s No Such Place As Far Away” 121).

You can also add the author’s name if it is not mentioned in the text (Bach, “There’s No Such Place As Far Away” 121).

If the work uses different numbers of the same periodical, the number of the cited publication should be included in brackets, then a colon, and then the page number or range of numbers:

·     As mentioned in Good Child magazine, the most dangerous mushroom is the white toadstool (11: 14-15)

Links to electronic sources

In the case of MLA style, the electronic sources are usually not indicated separately in brackets. Rather, it is recommended that you include the name of the author or the title of the source directly in the text of your material. However, it is very important to indicate all sources used at the end of the material in the list of sources.

In the case of video/animation and audio recordings, the exact time location of the material is indicated in brackets (00:02:15 – 00:02:35).

References to electronic periodicals and books, however, are analogous to research paper documents indicate the author and page number or title and page number in parentheses.

To summarize, an MLA-style text link is more flexible and not as strict as an APA, providing the author with multiple source link options. It is up to the author to decide what is important to indicate in parentheses and what should be mentioned in the text; however, the list of used sources must be drawn up in accordance with a very strict system.

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