Use the links below to learn how to write an annotated bibliography.
Which writing style should I use in the annotations?
The most important thing to understand is that entries should be brief.
Only directly significant details will be mentioned and any information apparent in the title can be omitted from the annotation.
In addition, background materials and references to previous work by the same author usually are not included.
Listed below are three writing styles used in annotated bibliographies. Click on a link to see examples of each.
Get the information out, quickly and concisely. Be clear, but complete and grammatically correct sentences are unnecessary.
Telegraphic (phrases, non-sentences)
Vowles, Richard B. (1962). Psychology and drama: A selected checklist. Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, 3,(1), 35-48. Divided by individual authors. Reviews the research between 1920 and 1961.
(Bell and Gallup, 1971, p. 68)
In this style you must always use complete sentences.
The length of the sentences varies. Subjects and conjunctions are not eliminated even though the tone may be terse. Avoid long and complex sentences.
Kinter, W. R., and R L. Pfaltzgraff. (1972). Assessing the Moscow SALT agreements. Orbis, 16, 34l-360. The authors hold the conservative view that SALT can not halt the slipping nuclear advantage of the United States. They conclude that the United States needs a national reassessment of defense policy. They further conclude that the only utility of SALT is in developing a dialogue with the Soviets. This is a good conservative critique of SALT I.
(Strenski and Manfred, 1981, p. 165)
When using this form of annotation, you must write a full, coherent paragraph.
Sometimes this can be similar to the form of a bibliographic essay. It goes without saying that you need to use complete sentences.
Paragraph (a little more formal)
Voeltz, L.M. (1980). Children's attitudes toward handicapped peers. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 84, 455-464. As services for severely handicapped children become increasingly available within neighborhood public schools, children's attitudes toward handicapped peers in integrated settings warrant attention. Factor analysis of attitude survey responses of 2,392 children revealed four factors underlying attitudes toward handicapped peers: social- contact willingness, deviance consequation, and two actual contact dimensions. Upper elementary-age children, girls, and children in schools with most contact with severely handicapped peers expressed the most accepting attitudes. Results of this study suggest the modifiability of children's attitudes and the need to develop interventions to facilitate social acceptance of individual differences in integrated school settings.
(Sternlicht and Windholz, 1984, p. 79)