How to create a correct annotated bibliography

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Annotation is a brief description of the document, its parts or a collection of documents in terms of content, purpose, form and other features. The annotations are explanatory or recommendatory.

The annotation is one of the main categories of the bibliographic record.


The basis for compiling the modern annotation is based on three main features: functional, completeness of reflection and the number of annotated publications (documents). Based on these characteristics, the following types of annotation are distinguished:

• General. This kind of annotation is intended to characterize the content of the document;

• Analytical. This is a similar annotation that should characterize a part or aspect of the content;

• Background annotation is intended to clarify the title and or supplement the bibliographic description with factual information;

• Recommended annotation characterizes the content taking into account the professional-psychological capabilities of the reader, is presented as a rule with methodical instructions on the use of the document;

• Evaluation annotation is a critical characteristic of the content of a document;

• Group annotation is the type characterizing the contents of several documents.

An annotated bibliography contains traditional reference quotes (in MLA, APA, or another standard format) plus one to three sections with summary information. Unlike a regular bibliography, an annotated bibliography serves a further two purposes: it helps to remind you what each reference contains and how you plan to use the reference when it comes down to writing an essay, and it helps those who read the essay learn more about the sources you quoted. Writing an annotated web site bibliography is done in the same way as other annotated bibliography references.


1 Find out which quote style essay will follow. Common choices are APA or MLA formatting.

2 For APA, type the following at the top of the page: [Author Surname], [Author First Name]. ([Date of Publication]). [Site Title]. Retrieved from http: [Website URL] Set information in the brackets with the details of a particular website. (Do not parentheses). The title of the site must be italic. For example: Doe, John. (2010). Everything about Bunnies. Retrieved from

3 For MLA, type the following at the top of the page: [Author Surname], [Author First Name]. "[Title on page]." [General Internet Title]. [Publisher Name], [Publication Date]. Web. [Date of Access]. Set information in the brackets with the details of a particular website. (not parentheses). The title of the website must be italic. For example: Doe, John. "Bunnies Galore." Bunnies Inc., May 26, 2009. Web. March 31, 2010.

Writing tips

Here are some tips on how to make annotated bibliography:

1. Write a section summarizing the source. What kind of material did it cover? Did it make an argument, and if so, what was it? What were the most important points that support the argument?

2. Write a section review the source. Was it written by a credible source? Was there any gap in the arguments? Was it published on a reputable website or publications? What may an objective third party have about the reliability of this page?

3. Write a section showing how you think the information of the source will fit into your essay. Mention some specific points that exist in this source that you intend to include in your own writing.

4. Once you have written your annotated bibliography, you must quote sources. Choose which style you are most comfortable with to cite your sources. Be sure to include all sources and authors of all information. Without the right information, it could be viewed as plagiarism.