chicago citation annotated bibliography

5 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Annotated Bibliography

Writing exercises are not a favourite of many. It applies to students and professionals too. While in school you may have written a Reference page or Citations for your paper.

Now, when you also need to write an annotated bibliography, this may feel intimidating for the first few times. Just like any other academic paper that a student has to produce, a Chicago citation annotated bibliography follows a specific format.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

It is a critical and descriptive summary of the sources you used in your research. The description has to follow the appropriate formatting style of the discipline, be it the Chicago manual of style annotated bibliography.

It lists the citations to the materials that you use in writing your thesis. Also, you have to include a summary of the evaluation of these sources. Your aim should be providing the reader with a description that’s informative.

That is, it should highlight the quality, relevance and accuracy of the cited work. It should include:

1. Summary of the Source

Before you start to write your annotated bibliography, it is vital to select your sources with care. As, your choice of selection, will affect the utility and quality of your literature. Start by defining the scope of your research.

It will guide you in determining what sources to include or exclude. Choose sources that offer you a comprehensive perspective of your research topic.

Also, remember to be objective when you summarise a source. In that, you state the main ideas of the material.

2. List of References

This list is what will provide support to your argument. Stick to the format guidelines given by your supervisor. Any expert online bibliography generator will require you to specify the formatting style of the citation.

Generally, it should include the author(s) name, the title of the material, then the date of the latest revision of the publication. The bibliography should be able to give an overview of the research carried on a particular topic.

You can choose to make it selective by providing a few representative sources. It can also be comprehensive where you the significant findings on that topic.

3. Evaluation

It is a brief paragraph that explains to the reader how the particular source fits the research, and also what you think about it. It will address the credibility of the author and the effectiveness of the arguments presented in the material.

In the evaluation, you need to consider the weaknesses and strengths of the source. You can also compare one source to another. It will help you demonstrate thoughts that are current, on the research topic.

4. Organization of Entries

The proper way to organize your entries will depend on the organizational style acceptable to the field or program. Mostly, it is an alphabetical order, based on the last name of the authors.

It can also be in chronological order, or one that depends on the language, format or subtopics of the sources.

5. Use of the Bibliography

An annotated bibliography helps you to enrich your paper. It also makes it easy for the reader when selecting the sources they could use for further reference. It is different from an abstract which only provides a detailed summary.

Here you have to inform the reader of the relevance of the source, to the specific scope of research.


To make writing an annotated bibliography less daunting, try working on it in small steps. Write each part separately then put it together in the proper format. Remember, it is an original work that you create for your colleagues and faculty, so, no plagiarism.

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