Many courses may require you to write an annotated bibliography, or bibliographic information about your sources and a short description of each, as preparation for writing a paper.
These bibliographies are often no more than a page or two in length, but they are important because they force you to dive deeper into the source material.
When you write an annotated bibliography for a course, consider that the professionalism of the product is a direct reflection of the quality of the paper that will result.
The following steps can help you be conscious of the structure and style of your annotated bibliography.
The bibliographic information you will include at the beginning of each entry in the annotated bibliography should be formatted according to APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines. This information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.
The format of these citations will be the same as those you include on the "Works Cited" page at the end of your essay. Just like the citations on that page, you will want your annotated bibliography entries to be double-spaced and appear in alphabetical order by the author's last name. If you get the formatting of these citations right on your annotated bibliography, you will save time later when creating your "Works Cited" page.
The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:
Below is a sample reference list with each source labeled by type (you will not need to label your source types; this is shown here as a formatting example). Remember that in your annotated bibliography, you will include a paragraph below each source summarizing its argument and explaining its relevance to your thesis.
Agatson, A. (2003). The South Beach diet. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin.
Journal article with multiple authors
Ebbeling, C. B., Leidig, M. M., Feldman, H. A., Lovesky, M. M., & Ludwig, D. S. (2007). Effects of a low-glycemic load vs. low-fat diet in obese young adults: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 297(19), 2092-2102.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2018). Diet review: Ketogenic diet for weight loss. The Nutrition Source. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/
Source: This content has been adapted from Lumen Learning's "Annotated Bibliographies" and "Formatting a Research Paper" tutorials.