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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Without Losing Sense or Your Mind

The annotated bibliography is an annoying task and whoever invented it didn’t like students. In this kind of assignment, you need to write about literature background for your research or a particular subject in question. It can be a separate task, but mostly it is a part of a bigger assignment and failing in dealing with it might bring down the whole paper. To avoid this unfortunate situation, you might consider following these not too complicated but efficient steps presented by our writers.

Step #1. Follow the Citation Style from the Very Beginning

Of course, you can draft everything, work on the content, dig deep, etc. Doing so you will soothe yourself that you can deal with formatting later, and the content is king, and your professor values your point of view first of all. But let’s face it, he or she didn’t ask you for coffee to discuss what you think about the recent studies on Gender Equality. You have to do it academically and in academia every dot, every slash and every capital letter matters. Check if you need to format it in APA, Chicago, MLA or another style, copy basics from the Purdue Owl or a similar website to the separate document and format your paper right from starters. It is often that you don’t have time in the last minutes, so it is better if what you have looks professional at every stage.

Step #2. Don’t Give a Chance to the Arcane Studies

Students are directly told to pay attention to the newest studies, but most of them ignore this rule. It happens for a simple reason — they try to rewrite information regarding old studies, which is now available online. For the recent research, you need to come up with a description yourself. We don’t try to lecture you here, but unless you are quoting some ancient texts, absolutely necessary for your paper, keep your sources not older than 5 years back from your submission date.

Step #3. Use DIfferent Formats of Sources

Don’t get stuck only with books, or articles in the journals, or some credible online platforms. Every type of sources has its pros and cons, and using most of them will strengthen the pros and almost eliminate the cons. Use books as proofs for your basic ideas, cite journals to present the actuality of the problem and spice everything up with some online sources, proving that the topic is vivid.

Step #4. Go Straight to the Point

You need to write just one abstract about the particular source, so don’t pour water in it, as it will make it look weaker, even if it becomes bigger. You have to give both short description and evaluation. Your evaluation should cover not only a book in general but also how the issue in question is discussed in it. Don’t use phrases like “my opinion is,” “according to what I’ve read” etc. Your professor should understand that you really read those parts dedicated to your research paper’s topic.

Step #5. Give Critical Evaluation

You are not obligated to praise every source you use in your annotated bibliography. Make sure to give details about limitations of the particular article or a book. For example, you can mention that though this or that thought or experiment was valuable for your research, the methodology part could be organized better, and because of it, you also used another book of the similar content, but with a more profound methodology section.

Step #6. Check Your Paper for Repetitive Expressions

In fact, you have to write almost the same text about different books and articles, and once you are done make sure you’ve used different descriptors for each part. While academic paper should be written according to the strict formatting requirements, it shouldn’t look like a template copied online and slightly changed. Find a way to be creative, use online tools for synonyms, and check if you don’t repeat the starting line for every entry again and again.

It is definitely not the hardest task of your academic life, but it requires attention and precise attitude.

Don’t go into detail with content, but follow rules up to the slightest detail when it comes to formatting. Good luck!