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Annotated Bibliography Template


  1. Class: Unspecified
  2. This template is published for use.
  1. Step 1: Preparation
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%


    • During the process of noting down your sources, you might have made mistakes.

      • Check if all the sources are written down in the proper format.
      • Check if you are not missing any information in the citations. This especially concerns citing rare sources, like citing citations within another document.
    • It is best to organize your notes in alphabetical order or in an order of importance.

      • These notes will be the draft form of your actual annotations on the sources.
      • If you feel your notes were not accurate, do not feel like you need to use them but use what you feel is useful from your notes.
      • Before you open a document file to write your annotated bibliography, make sure you have your notes on your sources and your packet/folder full of your organized citations handy.
    • Look over the sources you are going to mention in your annotated bibliography. Get a firm grasp of their importance, their faults, and their overall content.

  2. Step 2: Writing the First Draft
    Percent time spent on this step: 60%


    • Before you write your annotations. make sure you write down all your citations first.

      • Check again if all the citations are in their correct format and are not missing any information.
      • List the citations in alphabetical order, with the last name of the author being the letter to order the citations in.
    • You will have time to edit your annotations later, so do not feel like you have to make your annotations perfect the first time around.

      • Summarise the general theme and scope of the source.
      • Evaluate the authority and specialization of the source and its author.
      • Tell which audience the source belongs to.
      • Compare this work to others you have chosen.
      • Explain how this source aids you in your paper.
    • Now that you have penned your annotations, quickly proofread it without doing major edits.

      • Check if your grammar and punctuation is in order.
      • Check if there are any inconsistencies and typographical errors.
  3. Step 3: Editing
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%


    • Do your annotations sound academic or informal? They should sound academic, but not hifalutin as well.

      • If you see any contractions, such as “don’t” or “won’t,” then change them to their original word.
      • If your tone is too conversational, you should edit it to make it sound more direct and observational.
    • Do your annotations sound like a mess of information? Make sure you have proper transitions and cause-and-effect wording going throughout the annotations.

      • Your annotations should not look like rough notes. Rather, they should give the impression that you have organized your annotations in a deliberate order to communicate the importance and meaning of each citation.
      • Do not use copy-and-paste transitions. Write naturally with what information you have to make a transition.
    • These types of errors, if made, show that the writer is lazy and did not try hard to complete a reasonable assignment. Therefore, be wary of any technical errors dealing with grammar or punctuation.

      • Make sure each sentence is complete.
      • Check if each sentence has the correct tense.
      • See if you have used correct punctuation.
      • Check your word order. If a phrase or whole sentence can be worded in a better way, then change its structure.
  4. Step 4: Feedback
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%


    • Visiting your school writing center is the best option. If you are not in school, hire a private tutor to look over your writing.

      • Set an appointment at your local writing center. Be sure to be on time, to bring in a printed copy of your writing, and to be open to suggestions/critique.
      • When hiring a private tutor, it is better to hire an experienced tutor that charges a bit more than expected. They can, sometimes, completely change your outlook on wiring and dramatically improve your writing.
    • Listen carefully to what your colleague and/or tutor has said, and make notes about what needs to change. Use your best discretion and change your annotated bibliography according to your teacher’s criteria.

      • When receiving criticism, be open-minded. Do not fall into the trap of being defensive.
      • Do not be overly-receptive as well. Do not change your entire annotated bibliography based on others’ comments if the changes do not work better than the original.
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