Annotated bibliography writing may look like a foreign language, but it is a great way to begin your work for any writing project, particularly projects over five pages in length. The annotated bibliography is a great way to gather information for large writing projects or simply to learn how to evaluate sources for use in papers. You will create an annotated bibliography from sources you gather from online, your school’s library, or even other course materials from your class.
The annotated bibliography is designed to assist you in practicing formatting based on your school’s required formatting styles – such as APA and MLA; however, many schools will not strictly adhere to the styles as found online. Your best resources for developing the correct formatting for your annotated bibliography is to use the resources provided by your school to determine how the style has been assigned for use by your school – such as listing your sources as references, works cited, or the bibliography. Most schools will make at least minor changes to the style requirements, or be more lenient on some aspects while being very strict on others.
In addition, when developing your annotated bibliography it is ok to summarize the works using the summary section of the source; however, the summary should not be a direct quote, and should include the key information in the source that will be most applicable to your particular project. This is to assist in assigning value to the source you have chosen. Finally, while writing the annotated bibliography consider how this source will play a role in meeting the needs of the paper later – such as where the source applies for the layout of the paper and how the source will fit with the topic sentence.
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