The Guide for Writing a Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of articles, journals, books, and other documents which consist of citations followed by short evaluations of every work. The citation is a description of the work elements which are listed in a particular style with specific indentation, capitalization, and punctuation. Today, we are going to talk about the Chicago style annotated bibliography.

The annotation is a small review of the work and its author. Here you can write a short summary of the content and usefulness of the work. Write whether the work has any limitations, and include a description of what readers it is intended for. A Chicago annotated bibliography should be presented in alphabetical order by the last name of the author.

The Reason to Write an Annotated Bibliography

If you write an annotated bibliography, it can help you kick-start research for your paper. Also, it will demonstrate that you understand research in your sphere of study. An annotated Chicago style bibliography will inform readers of the accuracy, relevance and the quality of sources that you have used.

Many students think that annotations, summaries, and abstracts are the same things. A summary is a brief work retelling. It doesn’t involve an interpretive work statement. An annotation is a work interpretation in relation to your own research. Sometimes you may include some criticisms about the course that you use.

The purpose of an annotated bibliography will determine the length of the annotation. Reflect on the source after assessing and summarizing. If you want to have a broad picture of what was said about your topic, use different sources. Investigate how scholarly sources treat your topic differently than popular sources. However, you should avoid newspapers, or popular sites if you need to use only scholarly sources in your paper.

Divide sources into groups if you use many of them. We have prepared questions that can help you to write your annotation:

  • Why should you pay attention to what an author says?
  • For whom are the sources intended?
  • What is the focus of the source?
  • What research methods the author used?
  • What is the thesis statement of the author?

Use the library catalog to search for journal articles, books, and other documents that may involve ideas and information on your topic. Review all citations that you include in your paper. Select only works that present perspectives on your subject. Choose the annotated bibliography Chicago style and have RefWorks prepare the bibliography.

You don’t need to read the entire work to write an effective annotation. If you use a book, read the introduction and the conclusion. Also, read notes provided by the author. You should read the author’s credentials about the work. Check out the sources that the author uses to write a conclusion.

Annotations can be descriptive, summarizing qualifications of the author, research methods, and arguments. The quality of scholarship in an article or book can be evaluated in the annotation. Consider the quality of the evidence and the logic of the author’s arguments. Also, you may explain why the sources are relevant.

Why You Need to Cite Sources

Once you have read and gathered plenty of sources, it is important to cite them in an appropriate Chicago style annotated bibliography format. The reason for citing is to give credit to authors whose thoughts and ideas you have used in your paper. Even if you don’t include a direct quote, you have to give credit to authors whose ideas contributed to your work.

If you cite sources properly, it will help your readers to find sources easily. You will be accused of plagiarism if you don’t cite sources upon which you did your research. If you use and present other ideas as your own, you plagiarize. Even if you rephrase some author without including a citation, you plagiarize. In this case, you can be punished with a failing grade or even expulsion from your institution.

Every entry in a bibliography should contain information commonly included in works cited list. If you cite a book, you should include a title, an author, publication place, and publication year. The format for your citation should be specified by your professor. The annotation follows the bibliographic information and it describes the source’s contents.

Ask your professor if you have any questions about how you should compose your annotation. Look at other annotated bibliographies as examples. Many books include them. Also, you can use the Internet, as there are a lot of examples you can use. It is important to look through such examples if you want to get a high grade.

When you include every source in your annotated bibliography, write a short descriptive paragraph consisting of four to five sentences which can involve relevance to your topic as well. Present a clear indication of every source relevancy, quality, and accuracy. To write a good annotated bibliography, read the instructions carefully.

You should be clear about the type of annotated bibliography that you need to write. Provide a clear overview of the arguments, evidence, and conclusions in the descriptive part. Analyze the content, and comment on the arguments’ strengths and weaknesses. Write why the source is useful for your research topic.

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