Annotated Bibliography Writing Help

The annotated bibliography is a list of references to books, articles, documents and any other sources of information. Each reference you meet is accompanied by a brief paragraph describing it. This is usually called an annotation. A properly assembled and prepared annotated bibliography informs readers of the accuracy and quality of the sources cited. Of course, when writing an annotated bibliography, you should know various special aspects.

First of all, we are going to remind you of the common steps and essential recommendations. With no doubts, you can`t plagiarize any sources or rewrite them word for word. Then, there may be diverse approaches to writing an annotated bibliography assignment so make sure you know all the requirements in detail. Therefore, it is better to specify some points by asking your instructor.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Well, let us start presenting general info on how to write an annotated bibliography citation. As we can see, an annotated bibliography is a very important part of any research paper or project. That`s why we should mention one more crucial fact. You ought to distinguish annotations and abstracts. We can obviously say that abstract usually appears as a description at the beginning of the article. It provides a descriptive summary of the document. As for the annotation, it aims at a more thorough approach. This means that an annotation often gives particular records when assessing, estimating or maintaining criticism.

Annotation emphasizes the author`s point of view and facilitates a more profound investigation of the subject- matter. Moreover, you should get acquainted with two common types of annotated bibliographies. They are the following ones: descriptive and critical. The first type is a general overview of the author`s key claims and stand. It also includes the reasons for choosing one or another source of data as well as defines the utility value of the application of some specific sources. In addition, writing a descriptive annotation bibliography does not need to contain the critical evaluation, just the main points, and the author`s inference.


However, a critical annotated bibliography should be of a more analytical form. According to the fact that it is a frequently used annotation type, we are going to describe it quite appropriately and intelligibly. The highlight nuance is an accurate and precise analysis of the text. You ought to accentuate all the arguments and sides that have been presented. Actually, you have to recapitulate all the evident strong and weak aspects of the document and sum up the information.

Another one significant instant to remember is the apparent difference between the reference and bibliography. Briefly speaking, a reference list should mostly consist of such sources that have been cited in-text. While speaking about bibliography, it is often understood that you have to mention all the sources (including the sources you have cited in- text) that you have read and used in order to write the assignment on a particular topic.

Nevertheless, it is better to define more exactly with your lecturer, as these two notions may sometimes be interchanged. So that try to make sure whether you know all the special requirements. Well, among the most important characteristics of a perfect annotated bibliography you may mark out the next features:

  • The specific format;
  • The main elements of the annotation

In addition, you have to check the proper way of organization of an annotated bibliography ( alphabetically, chronologically, by subtopics, format, language, etc.).

However, once again, you should specify all the requirements with your instructor.

Professional Annotated Bibliography Writers

Here below we are going to present several key points that we should definitely include as the components of our annotation.

We hope to simplify the understanding of the concept and a general style of writing. Please, keep on reading this article, as there is even more useful information further.

Main Elements of an Annotated Bibliography

Here below we are going to present several key points that we should definitely include as the components of our annotation.

Qualifications of Authors

Of course, you have to specify the author`s qualifications, post, etc. For instance, you may indicate an educational academic degree, etc. (it is really necessary when it is a scientific source or related to any similar fields). Try to state the information sufficiently distinctly.

Purpose/ Scope

You have to select the reasons why you have chosen this resource and thus it may be easier to define the purpose. You might express the main idea as well as the scope and sequence of the key points. In this case, the aim of the cited source may resonate with the topic of examination.

Audience and Level of Reading Difficulty

Your annotation should definitely be relevant to the subject that you are investigating. Then, every point in your bibliography lists ought to fit your research. Describe the subject of the study in a suitable and applicable method, not forgetting about the readers` alleged academic levels.

Bias or Standpoint of Author

Write about the author`s inclination to this or that point of view. Determine the focus and the author`s attitude towards definite events or processes. Thereby, try to get the drift and even the undertone if possible.

Relationship to Other Works in the Field

Study the parallels to other works on the subject. This may help you reinforce the arguments and sound more scientifically. When the information is based on various hypotheses, analyses or confirmed facts, it makes your annotation more credible.

Findings, Results and Conclusions (if available)

So, consider the consequence of the study and develop the core detection of valuable findings. Of course, you should make certain that the information is reliable and useful. Summarize all the data and make a probing in-depth conclusion.

Format/ Special Features

This element consists of a bibliography, index, glossary, testing devices, survey instruments, etc. Indeed, you ought to specify this info by asking your lecturer and study this point so that you can know in detail.

General Structure of an Annotated Bibliography

In order to write a perfect annotation correctly, you should learn the common features of its structure that you ought to follow.


According to the accepted info, it is recommended writing an annotation of approximately 100-300 words. The exact number of words might vary, however, it is said that the paragraph should be compact. So, compress the thoughts logically without losing sense.


The most popular way is to write in the third person. Notwithstanding, writing from the first person might also be permitted for specific types of annotations. So that it is advisable to check this point.

Language and Vocabulary

Well, the usage of the proper lexis is of fundamental importance. So, try to follow the author`s style and match the language with the general concepts needed. Avoid using the monotonous sentences so that the reader will not be bored with the replete or identical lexical structures.

Format - Sentences

for the sentence types, there are mostly no strict requirements. You should use the whole sentences and make some lucid descriptions with the help of single descriptive words. This may denote that you may choose a more formal language and express the thoughts eloquently and gently.

Format - Paragraphs

As usual, your annotation should consist of one complete paragraph. At first, you ought to present the statement of the thesis. And other sentences can expand your initial thesis. Again, we highly recommend specifying all the necessary requirements before you start writing an assignment.

Citation Format of an Annotated Bibliography

Here below we are going to describe each of the most popular styles for writing an annotated bibliography. You know that each style of citation has got its basic peculiarities and prominent features. In this article, you will take a sketchy look at writing an annotated bibliography in APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian and Harvard Styles.

So, please, proceed with reading and exploration of the main principles of writing in different formats.

General APA Format Recommendations for an Annotated Bibliography

Well, it can be a summary or an evaluative annotation. You may remember that an evaluative annotation includes both a short description and your evaluation of the cited source. So, explain the author`s expertise, point of view, and any bias he or she may have about the topic. At the same time, while writing a summary annotation, the main focus is on the description of the document itself.

Let us provide a short guideline on how to cope with the annotated bibliography in APA Formatting Style.

At first, use the standard APA format for the citations. Here are the main parts to be reflected in the annotation:

  • Make a summary of the main points in two-four sentences. Define the arguments and the topics that are covered in the source.
  • Then try to evaluate and make an assessment of the source in one-two sentences. Find the right words to describe the key points. Decide whether the source is objective or, maybe, biased, etc. Accentuate the major aspects.
  • Reflect on the source of information (one-two sentences). Spot the reasons why this source is so helpful for your research and the ways you can use it. Indicate if this source has predetermined or influenced your way of thinking, etc.

Please, study all the detailed official APA Style guidelines in order to present the information correctly.

Of course, you should apply the APA format and edit your annotation according to all the requirements. Note that you ought to write an annotated bibliography, strictly following the current official guidelines of the American Psychological Association.

General MLA Format Recommendations for an Annotated Bibliography

MLA annotated bibliography has got its specific requirements as any other formatting styles. Let us present the general points of writing a bibliography, using such a format. You should note that this is not the full guide, but only the basics of the MLA Style format (8th ed.)

So, you should add the reference page with the titles of Annotated Bibliography or Annotated List of Works Cited. Alphabetize the sources by author or title, etc. Check this point for having any specific requirements.

Write 3- 6 sentences, use the third person. You may number your pages at the top (this point should also be checked).

So, you should follow all the official MLA Format requirements according to your task and ask your lecturer (if needed), as the peculiarities may differ.

General Chicago/ Turabian Style Recommendations for an Annotated Bibliography

Usually, we need to cite a bibliography in Chicago/ Turabian Styles. The difference is the fact that professional scholars and publishers need the Chicago Manual of Style and high school/ college students don`t mostly write papers for publication. That`s why they may use the student-oriented Turabian version.

Source citations in Turabian Style may be notes and bibliography or author-date, depending on the subject of the research. You should also check this information in The Chicago Manual of Style, as this system of citations quite often refers to the Chicago Style. The Turabian handbook explains Chicago Style for students and researchers. So, you may ask your professors in case you do not know exactly what style to use.

Depending on the source of citation, you should add different information in order to make a bibliography.

When choosing Chicago format, you may also find different requirements for various citation sources.

So, of course, in order to write a correct annotated bibliography, you should study all the available material on a necessary format, also considering the type of bibliography citation. Different data sources may be cited in various ways so that this point is essential.

General Harvard Style Recommendations for an Annotated Bibliography

In order to reference a website, you need the author`s last name and initials, year of publication, the title of the page, the webpage title and the source online (please, check the proper sequence of the elements needed). It may include the next points:

  • The author`s surname is followed by the first initials;
  • The year of publication;
  • The title (italicized);
  • The publisher of the article;
  • The date the article was viewed;
  • Address of the webpage <in angled brackets>

When there is no author of the website article, you may use the following structure:

Name of the Website, (Year published). Title of the Page. [online] Available at: URL [Accessed Day Month Year].

However, again, you should check some additional information before you start writing a bibliography, as there really exist a lot of variations. In general, you should include all the necessary points while creating the annotated bibliography in Harvard referencing style.

In case, there is not any info like the author, date, etc., we should learn particular rules for formatting. Again, we ought to remind you that there are different approaches to citing various printed and online material. So, check the data that is available with your supervisor and study the topic profoundly, taking notice of the extra or unknown information that may vary in different situations.

Annotated Bibliography Writing Tips from Experts

Well, let us provide a short overview of some main advice when preparing an annotated bibliography.

  • You should know the difference between a bibliography itself and an annotated one. We can also name the first as “References”. However, an annotation is usually an evaluated summary of each of the sources;
  • We have got summary, evaluative and combination annotations. You should definitely check the right variant for writing. We usually apply different types of annotated bibliographies to reference various sources (books, articles, websites, etc.);
  • Make a profound summary of all your sources. Try to find all available data to include.
  • Define the key arguments of the source cited and assess with high quality;
  • Strictly follow all the requirements and use the official guidelines for different assigned bibliographic styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, Harvard, etc.);
  • Carefully analyze all the sources needed, focus on the essential aspects of each information source, specify any info if possible;
  • Try to achieve all the purposes of writing an annotated bibliography. Explain the general facts to the readers, demonstrate the in-depth research as well as widespread awareness and topicality of the source.

Successful Annotated Bibliography Ideas

Here are several attention-getting topics on different subjects. Let`s examine some of them.

Annotated Bibliography Topics for Psychology

  • Human behavior in different situations
  • Psychological regularities of a person`s evolution
  • The influence of the Internet on personality
  • Psychological training as a tool for self- development
  • Psychological aspects of language learning

Annotated Bibliography Nursing and Healthcare Topics

  • Sport and movability as the guarantee for a healthy organism
  • The impact of stress on the human body
  • Modern technological progress in healthcare and medicine
  • Advantages and drawbacks of healthcare digitalization
  • The current service conditions of the medical personnel
  • Nursing care for different categories of patients

Annotated Bibliography History Topics

  • The main causes of the Thirty Years War
  • Symbolism in the Ancient World
  • The distinguishing characteristics of Modern History
  • Imperialism as a state policy
  • The history of the struggle for equality of men and women`s rights

Annotated Bibliography Topics for Education

  • Student performance in class
  • The system of school education in different countries
  • Homeschooling as a new tendency
  • Basic educational approaches
  • The most common requirements for admission to universities all over the world

Controversial Topics for Annotated Bibliography

  • The application of capital punishment in some countries
  • Animal testing
  • Genetic cloning
  • The expensive higher education
  • Control of the nuclear arms

Annotated Bibliography Topics for Sociology

  • Homelessness issue in the world
  • The problem of childhood obesity
  • Cultural heritage
  • Career opportunities nowadays
  • The concept of culture


Well, as you can see, it is a very important task to create an annotated bibliography correctly and it may take a particular amount of time. Moreover, you should remember to specify all the required data and details in order to start writing properly. So, make in-depth research and study all the necessary requirements according to the style writing formats as well as ask for some consultation if needed. You ought to use official guidelines for writing in different styles. So that you may define the right formalization and content for your writing.

You also might find some options for various style applications. Nevertheless, you should note that you cannot plagiarize and you have to follow your assignment. Moreover, specify all the extra points by asking your instructor.

Surely, you may need some expert help while writing an annotated bibliography. We can easily find the best decision for any challenging and thought-provoking tasks. And help you perform the assignment perfectly. Have a nice day!

Order Now

Call us Toll free