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How to Write a College Annotated Bibliography

When a college student works on a big research paper, he will be asked to prepare a good annotated bibliography paper in order to demonstrate what sources he has used for research. This bibliography section is not a simple enumeration of sources, but a brief description of their content, relevance and usefulness. If you require more information about annotated bibliography writing, you can take advantage of writing guidelines that will be of good help for every student.

Step One: Choose Appropriate Sources

College annotated bibliography writing precedes the process of research paper or dissertation writing, because students ought to find sources at first and only then start writing their assignment. Consequently, annotated bibliography writing belongs to prewriting procedures conducted by a student. He spends hours to look through various books and scientific periodicals and tries to understand whether these sources can be used for analysis of his subject. This process is quite tiresome and can take much time.

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Step Two: Categorize Your Sources

When you have managed to collect enough sources for research, you are able to arrange them into the logical order. Evidently, it is simpler to operate your sources effectively if they are distributed into categories for your convenience. If your subject is complex, you will surely notice that different authors have different points of view about it. They support different theories and try to invent their own concepts and solutions to the existing problem. The sources that possess the same theoretical background should be placed to one pile or category. If you have collected several opinions about your topic, you will have several categories of sources.

Step Three: Analyze Every Book Attentively

You ought to look through every source scrupulously in order to see what valuable ideas can be found there. You should understand the main idea and the main principles of the given source. It will be wise to focus on its theories, author’s original opinion, etc. Furthermore, it is important to distinguish its original ideas that cannot be found anywhere else. You will need to compare your sources between one another in order to define their similarities and differences.

Step Four: Evaluate Effectiveness of Sources and Summarize Them

An annotated bibliography is a brief summary of a big book. You are expected to prepare a short paragraph about the book, its author, its main ideas, concepts, subjects, etc. in order to provide your teacher with the approximate understanding of what this source is about. In addition, you will need to say why this book is important for your research. Finally, you should say whether author’s ideas are still relevant and whether he can express his thoughts in a clear and understandable way.