Sometimes, the value of scholarship is in the documents you create to prove it. Every scholar wishes not to get bogged down by paperwork. But look at it this way — the academic document advertises your credibility and the thoroughness of your research. It is also the Kevlar against plagiarism (and sometimes the cause of it).
Every academic document has its own nuts and bolts. Today, let’s talk about an important one — the annotated bibliography.
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to journals, books, articles, and other documents followed by a brief paragraph. The paragraph(s) is a description of the source and how it supports your paper.
It is the one document that can make your and your professor’s life easier as you end your research paper with a flourish. Just how we go about using Microsoft Word for this kind of research writingGoogle Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research WritingGoogle Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research WritingOnline solutions are becoming the norm. We decided to see how Microsoft Word stacks up against Google Docs. Which one will do the better research paper?Read More is what the lines below are for.
The Annotated Bibliography: Let’s Define It
It’s important not to confuse an annotated bibliography with a regular bibliography or works cited.
A regular bibliography is simply a list of source citations. Nothing more. The screen below is an example of a regular bibliography. As you can see, it doesn’t go into deeper detail about the books or sources mentioned.
An annotated bibliography has a few more parts to it. It is easy to get the idea from the meaning of the word “annotation”. According to Merriam-Webster, an annotation is:
A note added to a text, book, drawing, etc., as a comment or explanation.
Here’s what a common annotated bibliography looks like. I am sure you can instantly make out the extra parts that go into framing it.
As you can see, the sample above starts with the usual bibliographic citation. Then, it includes a summary and a clear evaluation of the source you used for researching your topic. The intent behind adding your own summary and analysis after the primary or secondary source is to define the topic area and how it applies to your research. You have to add an annotation each time that you create a new source.
It is a lot of work. But this effort from you helps the reader find useful information at a glance. It tells the reader how each borrowed information has helped the progress of the paper. And, it offers everyone a window into your thinking behind the topic you have selected.
Using Word to Create an Annotated Bibliography
The easiest way to create an annotated bibliography in Microsoft Word? Use a template to save time.
But it is always better to create one from scratch and sharpen your research writing skills in the process. It is not difficult, so don’t hold yourself back. You have to keep in mind the style of the documentation required for your research. There are distinguishing differences between the APA, AMA, and MLA Style.
I am going to follow the MLA (Modern Language Association) Style and show how to create a well-formatted document in Microsoft Word in five basic steps.
1. Set Up Your Word Document. Go to Ribbon > Layout > Margins > Normal (1-inch margins on all sides).
2. Set the font. MLA recommends a serif font (e.g. Times New Roman). Go to Home > Font and choose Times New Roman and 12 pt. Also, go to the Paragraph group and choose 2.0 for double-spaced line settings.
Start the Annotated Bibliography
3. Choose the location. An annotated bibliography begins on a new page that follows the end of your research sections. Type “Annotated Bibliography” at the top and center-align it on the page. It should be capitalized and centered—not bolded or underlined.
4. Choose your sources. Research and record the information that pertains to your topic. A properly-formatted citationMake Writing Papers Easier - 4 Websites That Help You Cite SourcesMake Writing Papers Easier - 4 Websites That Help You Cite SourcesWhen the time comes to write a paper, one of the biggest pains can be citing your sources. You've spent hours and hours slaving away over your computer, perfectly crafting every word. You're cruising for...Read More comes first and you have to cite your source according to the MLA Style.
The MLA citation style for a book follows this sample sequence:
Author, A.A. Write the Title of Work in Italics. Publisher City, State: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium.
Example: Smith, J. Just a Good Book That You Can Cite. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Print.
The citation is the most important part — so do follow the format religiously by following the style format guide. There are many online sources which cover the popular citation styles in more detail.
5. Indent the second line. The second line of the citation uses a hanging indent to offset half-an-inch from the left margin. Just hit enter at the end of the first line and then press the Tab key to create the hanging indent. You can also adjust it with the hanging indent marker on the ruler. So, your citation will look like this:
As you can see above, each individual citation will start flush from the 1-inch margin. But everything from the second line will be offset 0.5 inches to the right.
To set the hanging indents, you can also go to Ribbon > Paragraph > Click on the Paragraph settings arrow to display the dialog box. Under Indentation, click on Special > Hanging. By default, the hanging indent is set to 0.5 inches.
Microsoft Word does not always like to space things properly. So, you might have to tweak by hand and indent everything from the second line onward.
Use Microsoft Word’s Bibliography Tool
Microsoft Word has a built-in bibliography tool you can use to manage your citations. On the Ribbon, go to the References tab.
In the Citations & Bibliography group, click the arrow next to Style.
Click the style that you want to use for the citation and source, e.g. MLA.
Select the location where you want to start the citation. Then, click Insert Citation.
Two options are available in the dropdown menu.
- You can add the source information for the citation.
- You can also add a placeholder, so that you can create a citation and fill in the source information later
If you choose Add New Source, enter all the citation details in the Create Source box. Click OK.
You can preview the citation in the Manage Sources dialog box.
Microsoft Word also helps you manage your long list of sources. Get proficient with this underused Microsoft word feature7 Underused Microsoft Word Features and How to Use Them7 Underused Microsoft Word Features and How to Use ThemAre you overlooking some of Microsoft Word's most useful features? This application features a surprising number of underused tools and options. We have unearthed seven and will show you how to use them.Read More and save yourself some time. The Office Support page also explains the nitty-gritty of bibliographies.
You can also use online citation generators, though there is more value in doing it yourself.
Write the Annotation
Just to remind you again: the annotation begins below the citation. The annotated text is also indented below the citation. The first line of the citation that begins with the author’s last name is the only text that is flush left in the entire bibliography.
The paragraphs you include will depend on the aim of your bibliography. Some annotations may summarize, some may analyze a source, while some may offer an opinion on the ideas cited. Some annotations may include all three paragraphs. In brief: it can be descriptive, analytical, or critical. But it follows a specific order…
- The first paragraph is a summary of the source.
- The second paragraph is an evaluation of the source.
- The last paragraph can look into the relevance of the source material for the research.
In the MLA Style, annotated bibliographies have to be arranged alphabetically according to the last names of the first author mentioned in each of the citations. So, just copy-paste each annotation in the proper order.
A Few Resources for the MLA Style
One of the best videos I could find on YouTube that explains the entire process in detail comes from “mistersato411”:
It’s also useful to keep these two official documentation sites bookmarked.
The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a useful resource for understanding style formats quickly.
Is Writing an Annotated Bibliography Hard?
The research is the hard part. Don’t make turning your research into the desired format harder than it should be. It really isn’t. Academicians have turned it into something mystical!
Just pay attention to the little details. If you are used to the APA Style, a move to MLA Style can spark mistakes. That could be the difference between a pat on the back or a red mark.
So, as in everything practice makes perfect. And the right digital tool is an asset for organizing your researchConquer Your Next Research Project The Easy Way With These ToolsConquer Your Next Research Project The Easy Way With These ToolsWhether you’re in school or you have a job, you likely have or will have to research at one point or another. And if you’re like most people, you will have to do it several...Read More. If you are a Word newbie, take time to learn all the tricks9 Tips to Learn All About Office 20169 Tips to Learn All About Office 2016Microsoft Office 2016 is among us. How are you mastering the latest version for the sake of your productivity? We tip you off to the best links for Office learning. Steal a march with these...Read More the Office suite has up its sleeve.
Do you think writing annotated bibliographies is a tough task? Offer your best tips in the comments — it just might make life easier for a student who reads it!
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You might be aware that an annotated bibliography is generally used to keep an account of all the books along with their concise description. This helps the readers to understand the real essence of a book and what it can offer. However, creating an annotated bibliography is no child’s play. It requires a lot of research into each book, its author etc. This when coupled with the task of documenting can be quite tedious. Though the research work cannot be foregone, using an annotated bibliography template can definitely help in reducing some of the work load. It is designed keeping in mind the precise reason and leaves you with the task of entering the information. You can also see Biography Templates
How to Setup an Annotated Bibliography
Annotated bibliography is used to maintain an account of all the books and the concise description of the books. This layout gives an overall idea of all the books and the zest of the books available. This is a tough process as a lot of research has to be done on the books to write a brief about them. The various kinds of annotated bibliography templates make the work easier.
Sample Annotated Bibliography Template
This is a standard version of the annotated bibliography template which comprises of all the important segments which you should not miss. However, the formatting style and other things are totally up to you.
Mla Annotated Bibliography Template
The annotated bibliography can be composed in various formats based on the preference of the readers. At times, when the readers prefer MLA style formatting, using an MLA annotated bibliography template is a great idea. It follows the precise formatting rules and even gives you required tips. It consists of the important segments which you need to fill in with the relevant details.
Annotated Bibliography Template Apa 6th Addition
gcumedia.com You are getting a compact note here on how to do/prepare an APA annotated bibliography. There is detailed discussion on the definition of a bibliography, it’s length & so on.
MS Word Annotated Bibliography Template
If you are comfortable working with MS Word and would prefer sticking to it rather than try something new, don’t worry. Use the MS Word annotated bibliography template which is completely compatible with the software. This will offer you the ease of working and would definitely make your task easier.
Free Annotated Bibliography Template Word
The Word template here clears the common confusion of every student regarding how to write the book & author’s name for a bibliography & how to write annotation- with its readymade bibliography structure.
6th Edition Annotated Bibliography Template PDF
bethel.edu The 6th edition annotated bibliography consists of the citation in APA style and annotation. The annotation follows the citation method in this method. There is no extra space in between and the double space is used through out in this citation method. This method is used to crate websites, resources for various data etc. and cms.
Turabian Annotated Bibliography Template
The Turabian annotated bibliography template is usually used in research papers, thesis etc. This method allows the author to include the name of the persons who have done research on the subjects. The bibliography should also include the titles of the books used in the thesis or research papers.
Critical Annotated Bibliography Example Template
The critical annotated bibliography template includes the preface in the annotated bibliography. This helps the readers to know more about the book, article or document.
These templates are written in different styles, some might summarize the project while the others might assess the findings of the project while the others may suggest the different possible uses of the source. You must take the help and guidance of your instructor too while taking help from these templates.
What is an Annotated Bibliography APA Format
An annotated bibliography APA format usually consists of the citations of the books, google docs , articles etc. The citation information consists of the author, year of publishing, title of the book, information related to the publisher, an outline of the book or a brief description of the book in 150 words.
How to Format an APA Annotated Bibliography
An APA annotated bibliography consists of the citations of the books. The bibliography of the book is entered in the list which consists of the author’s name, the publisher’s name, the title of the book or document, the year of publication, a brief description about the book in 150 words.
When do you Need an Annotated Bibliography Template
- When you need to prepare it in a particular format but are not sure of the formatting rules
- When you want to save time in designing the document
- When you want to record all the book details in a systematic manner
Benefits of Annotated Bibliography Template
- It can be easily customized
- It offers formatting tips and can be used even by novices
- It comprises of all segments that should be a part of the annotated bibliography, thus making the task of recording details an easy one for the user
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
In case, you are new to writing an annotated bibliography, get some help from an expert. Make sure to conduct extensive research before you write an annotation for each book. The annotation should not be too long and should be well within 150 words. It is extremely important to follow a proper formatting style when writing an blank Annotated Bibliography.
Choose from a wide range of Annotated Bibliography templates that we have to offer. These can be easily customized and are ready to be printed. Compatible with all devices these work on all software. In case, you want us to make any changes to our templates, we are open to your suggestions.
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