How to Create an Annotated Bibliography

How to Create an Annotated BibliographyAn annotated bibliography is a list of sources you have used to support your opinion. It includes a short paragraph which serves as the summary of the article. This summary should explain how it supports your viewpoint regarding a certain topic. It also includes specific information which shows how you have gathered the said resource. It is the best way to prove that the research you have done is valid enough to support your argument and claims. Usually, annotated bibliographies are cited according to APA and MLA styles. If you are a bit confused, just go through the tips below on how to create an annotated bibliography.

Creating an Annotated Bibliography: Guidelines

  1. An annotated bibliography comes in two forms. The descriptive, which only describes the material, and the evaluative, which both describes and evaluates the content.
  2. An annotation usually consists of 50 to 200 words or approximately two to four sentences, describing and evaluating the source you have cited in the bibliography. It should tackle what the material is all about and how it has helped you. If you are using the evaluative annotated bibliography, you should also include your opinion, as well as the relevance of the content to your topic.
  3. When you make an annotated bibliography, make sure that it is in alphabetical order. If you are not required to follow a specific format, you can use either the APA or the MLA citation style.
  4. If you are following the Modern Language Association or MLA style, use a hanging indent. This means all the lines in your bibliographic information are indented except for the first line. You can either use four spaces or tab over when indenting. At the end of your bibliographic information, start your annotation without skipping a line down. Your annotated bibliography should then be entitled as “Annotated List of Works Cited” or as “Annotated Bibliography”.
  5. If you are using the American Psychological Association or APA style, use a hanging indent as with the MLA. This also means that all the lines in your bibliographic information are indented four spaces, while the first line remains in line with the left margin. Then to start with your annotation, drop down to the next line without skipping an extra line. The whole annotation should be indented six spaces from the left margin. You can then entitle it as “References” as annotated bibliographies in APA style don’t require a specific title.

With an annotated bibliography, readers will be able to refer to what you have cited and access your resources. It helps you inform the readers of what is your source all about. It is just the same as the bibliography you regularly use in citing your references. The only difference is that you need to add an annotation. So to get started, just reread the guidelines above on how to create an annotated bibliography. 

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