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What Is An Annotated Bibliography (With Two Clear Examples)

Did you just receive a writing assignment that requires an annotated bibliography? It’s not a very frequent occurrence, but professors sometimes want to see if their students know what this kind of bibliography is and how it’s written. In this blog post, we will talk about the annotated bibliography. We will describe it, show you what it needs to contain, and then help you with two original examples. You get one APA example and one MLA example that you can use for free. So, let’s see what is an annotated bibliography!

Let’s Discuss the Annotated Bibliography

Most students get really scared when they hear about this kind of bibliography. The reality is that this assignment is in no way complicated. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to actually read the work you are referring to in the bibliography section. Writing the annotated bibliography would be impossible without this step. After you get a good idea of what’s written in the work, you can think about writing the annotation. We didn’t explain what is annotated bibliography until now because we wanted you to understand that you really need to read the work.

The annotated bibliography is almost like any other bibliography, the only difference being that it contains a brief evaluative and descriptive paragraph about each work being referenced. If you have several works to cite, it may take you quite a bit to write the annotation for each one of them. However, it’s not complicated at all. Now that you know what is an annotated bibliography, let’s show you two examples (APA and MLA).

First Example: APA Annotated Bibliography

We believe that just knowing what is an annotated bibliography isn’t enough to do a great job writing it. To help you, we’ve written a sample APA annotated bibliography. Here it is:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 55, 513-536.
The authors of this review are researchers at the Brown University and are working for the Rand Corporation. Their hypothesis is that living in a nonfamily setting has a significant impact on the plans, attitudes, expectations and values of young people, and that these people’s belief in the traditional sex roles is being eroded by nonfamily living. Ton conduct the review, they used data from National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men. The hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct in the case of females. However, nonfamily living had a lesser effect on males. Their findings reveal another interesting thing: the more time a person spends away from his or her parents before marrying, the more individualistic and self-sufficient he or she is.

Second Example: MLA Annotated Bibliography

Of course, this blog post wouldn’t be complete without a second example. If your teacher requires your paper to be written in MLA format, here is a MLA annotated bibliography sample:

Waite, Linda J., et al. “Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults.” American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554.
The authors of this review are researchers at the Brown University and are working for the Rand Corporation. Their hypothesis is that living in a nonfamily setting has a significant impact on the plans, attitudes, expectations and values of young people, and that these people’s belief in the traditional sex roles is being eroded by nonfamily living. Ton conduct the review, they used data from National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men. The hypothesis was demonstrated to be correct in the case of females. However, nonfamily living had a lesser effect on males. Their findings reveal another interesting thing: the more time a person spends away from his or her parents before marrying, the more individualistic and self-sufficient he or she is.

Tips and Tricks for Your Annotated Bibliography

An example of annotated bibliography is great, but a couple tips and tricks are even better! Always keep in mind the purpose of the bibliography: to inform your readers of the quality of the sources and of the accuracy and relevance of the works cited. Regarding the thesis format, it must follow all the rules of APA or MLA style. The citation will be written in this format. The annotation appears below the citation and has no special formatting. The only thing you need to do is make sure that all the text is indented so that only the last name of the author is flush left.

In general, the annotation should not be longer than 150 words. It can summarize the work being cited, it can evaluate the source, or it may show your readers why the source is important to your project. Of course, you can write three paragraphs to cover all the three things above. However, in most cases your professor will clearly state what your annotation must contain. It’s very rare for a professor to request all three paragraphs, especially when you are looking at a minimum of 2 references.

Remember that knowing how to make a bibliography is not enough. The annotations must be written perfectly and must adhere to the applicable academic writing standard. Also, don’t forget to proofread the bibliography and to edit it. You will get penalized quite harshly for mistakes, even in the bibliography section.

Using an Annotated Bibliography Generator

There is nothing like reading an annotated bibliography example before you get to work. Truth be told, the process of writing the bibliography is pretty straightforward. Writing the annotations will take some time, in case you have several sources to cite. It’s not enough to know how to write an annotated bibliography though. You need to make sure the annotation is well-written. This means it must be concisely exposed. You must demonstrate that you are capable of succinctly analyzing a work. Also, you must show your professor that you’ve done the library research properly.

Even though it’s easy to find an annotated bibliography generator on the Internet, be aware that it will not help you much. No software will be able to write the annotation for you (without copying it from other sources, which equals plagiarism). All that an annotated bibliography maker does is format the bibliography for you. You will still need to write the annotations. Bottom line, it’s a lot easier to simply write the bibliography yourself.

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