Sample Annotated Bibliography
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
Some of your courses at Ashford University will require you to write an Annotated Bibliography. An Annotated Bibliography is a working list of references—books, journal articles, online documents, websites, etc.—that you will use for an essay, research paper, or project. However, each reference citation is followed by a short summative and/or evaluative paragraph, which is called an annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited, and to state how this source will be used in or relevant to the paper or project.
Thus, an Annotated Bibliography has two main parts:
- the citation of your book, article, webpage, video, or document (in APA style)
- your annotation
How to create an Annotated Bibliography.
- Research the required number of scholarly sources from the library for your project.
- Reference each source in APA format. For help on how to format each source, see our sample references list.
- Write two paragraphs under each source:
- The first paragraph is a short summary of the article in your own words. Don’t just cut and paste the abstract of the article.
- The second paragraph is a short discussion of how this source supports your paper topic. What does this source provide that reinforces the argument or claim you are making? This support may be statistics, expert testimony, or specific examples that relate to your focused topic.
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry
Here is a sample entry from an Annotated Bibliography:
Belcher, D. D. (2004). Trends in teaching English for specific purposes. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24(3), 165-186. doi: 10.1017/S026719050400008X.
This article reviews differing English for Specific Purposes (ESP) trends in practice and in theory. Belcher categorizes the trends into three non-exclusive sects: sociodiscoursal, sociocultural, and sociopolitical. Sociodiscoursal, she postulates, is difficult to distinguish from genre analysis because many of the major players (e.g., Ann Johns) tend to research and write in favor of both disciplines. Belcher acknowledges the preconceived shortcomings of ESP in general, including its emphasis on “narrowly-defined venues” (p. 165), its tendency to “help learners fit into, rather than contest, existing…structures” (p. 166), and its supposed “cookie-cutter” approach. In response to these common apprehensions about ESP, Belcher cites the New Rhetoric Movement and the Sydney School as two institutions that have influenced progressive changes and given more depth to “genre” (p. 167). She concludes these two schools of thought address the issue of ESP pandering to “monologic” communities. Corpus linguistics is also a discipline that is expanding the knowledge base of ESP practitioners in order to improve instruction in content-specific areas. Ultimately, she agrees with Swales (1996) that most genres that could help ESL learners are “hidden…or poorly taught” (p. 167) and the field of genre is only beginning to grasp the multitude of complexities within this potentially valuable approach to the instruction of language—and in turn, writing.
This article provides examples as well as expert opinion that I can use in my project. This will provide me with evidence to support my claims about the current disciplines in ESL studies.
Guidelines for Formatting Your Annotated Bibliography
- Citations should be cited according to APA format.
- Annotations should be indented a half an inch (.5”) so that the author's last name is the only text that is completely flush left.
To see a sample Annotated Bibliography, click here.
Typing an APA style annotated bibliography
There are no specific instructions in the APA Publication Manual for how to format an annotated bibliography which is basically a reference list with your comments describing each reference.
Here is how to create an annotated bibliography using Reference Point Software’s Templates and Microsoft Word.
- Start a new APA style document. using the Reference Point Template.
- Type all of the references first using the APA menu
- Once the list is complete go to the end of the first reference, click there and hit the Enter key. This will open a new line. You can type the annotation there.
- Repeat the above step for each annotation.
If using this method it is extremely important that you don’t add any new references because Word will sort the list including sorting the annotations which is not what you want to happen. If you do need to add a new reference after typing your annotations then do this:
- Click APA, Settings
- Click Place References where I type them. This will prevent Word from sorting the list but you are then responsible for adding any new references to the list in the correct order.
- You can then add a new reference.
An alternate way to create the annotated bibliography
- Change the template’s sort setting right away, before you type any references. Then you can:
- Add a reference
- Hit Enter and type the annotation
- Add another reference
- Type the annotation, etc.
The advanatage to this method is that you don’t have to worry about Word sorting your annotations.
The disadvantage is that you are responible for entering the references in the correct order.
One other thing you will notice, the paragraph you are typing might be indented like an APA style reference. If you don’t want it formatted that way you will have to manually change the indentation one the Paragraph section of the Home tab on Word’s Ribbon.
There is a little down arrow at the far right lower edge. Click that to open the paragraph settings and change hanging indent to a First Line indent.
Alternatively you can change the style of the paragraph if you know how to change styles in Word.Both comments and pings are currently closed.