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How do I Write an Annotated Bibliography?

Why do I need to do an annotated bibliography?

Your teacher may ask you to do an annotated bibliography on a research project.  This will help you determine whether your sources are relevant to your topic, and whether they are reliable. It will also help you keep track of your sources.

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, journals, or other articles.  Each citation is followed by a summary of the author’s main ideas, assessment of the authority and reliability of the source, and your response to the source and how it connects to your topic.

You may also mention the purpose of the source and who the intended audience is.  Depending on the assignment, you may be required to write a single paragraph, or a number of paragraphs.

Which format should I use?

You will want to check with your teacher to find out which style you need to use.  If you are using MLA (Modern Language Association), or APA (American Psychological Association) you can check with Purdue OWL for more information.

How do I do an annotated bibliography?

Go to the library and begin to collect sources that are connected to your topic.  One-by-one skim / review / examine the sources and select the ones that are relevant and give different perspectives on the topic.

After you have a healthy collection of works, cite the books, journals, or articles using the correct style (MLA, APA, etc.).

Summarize the author’s main ideas, and then write a brief assessment of the source’s authority and reliability.  Finally, include your response and how the source connects to your topic.

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