How to Complete an Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The annotated bibliography – you either know how to write it, or hectically try to compose something out of thin air several hours before the deadline because you completely forgot you had an annotated bibliography assignment, and not just a list of references for your research paper. And who needs your comments on books created by prominent scientists anyway? More than that, there’s no doubt someone has already written an annotation, and a review, and a monograph based on nearly each book you used in your research. Now it’s time to accept the inevitable. However dumb this assignment may seem, you still have to do it, and we are here to help you.

annotated bibliography assignment

Annotate It!

Before we get to the main course and explore what is an annotated bibliography assignment, try these preparation steps and you’ll see how much easier it will become.

1) Keep track of everything you read.

And we mean everything – books, articles, small entries in scientific magazines, even comments on the forums related to your topic. Of course, not everything from this list will make it to the final annotated bibliography. But by doing so you will kill two birds with one stone: first of all, you will have a ready draft of your bibliography once you finish your research. And secondly, you won’t have to check a dozen tabs and a pile of articles to find that one quote that perfectly fits your supporting claim. Take it from us – that saves a ton of time.

2) Make short remarks on every book or article you read.

You may say that this is not a preparation, but a full-scale writing process, and you would be right. But the best way for how to write annotated bibliography assignment is to do it during the research, not after. Regarding the fact that you are reading very hectically, since you are doing everything in the last minute like every typical student, making short notes on each article you read will help you keep your thoughts more organized.

3) Always check the footnotes.

These tiny comments at the bottom of the page hide a lot of useful articles related to your research topic. Check them carefully, and we bet you will include most of those sources in your own bibliography. Pay the most attention to the articles and monographs which are often repeated as a source for several articles. Such works are often valuable milestones in your research field, and you won’t need to read tons of websites and articles related to your research to find them.

The Writing Process

Now you have done all necessary preparations, but you still have no idea what is an annotated bibliography assignment and how it is different from, let’s say, and abstract. The main difference is critical assessment. An abstract is a simple summary of the content of an academic work which is found at the beginning to let the reader know the main problems discussed in the paper. An annotation also includes an evaluation of the information in the article or book, and its relation to your research field. Follow these steps to create a great annotated bibliography assignment almost effortlessly:


At this step you need to point out the thesis of the paper, the main methods of investigation of the scientific problem and the conclusions. Actually, this part is not so different from an abstract, so we are not going to go further into the details.


The difference starts in the evaluation part. You need to present your opinion on how accurate the information presented in the source is and why you think so. Your evaluation may be based on the historical realities, the personality of the author, or other external factors that may influence writing. For example, in historical research the personality of the author is very important, because it defines the point of view on the political events of that time. If the author of a certain historical document was a nobleman, he was loyal to the ruling king, so he would depict any events from a positive point of view. If the author, however, was from a poorer social group, he would criticize the king for sufferings he inflicted on the people.

Reason for Choosing

And finally, to sum up your entry for a particular book or article, you need to evaluate this source’s contribution to your research and how you will use it in your own paper. Are you interested in the method, theoretical concept, data analyzed or the conclusion derived? Point that out in your annotation and you are done with the first entry! Now repeat that with 99 other sources you used in your paper and try not to go insane. And oh, don’t forget to format everything according to the formatting style used in your educational institution. Incorrect commas, full stops, italicization and all these things can cost you points, however frustrating this is.

If you still have quite a vague idea of how to write annotated bibliography assignment, feel free to contact us and ask for some professional help.