The bibliography is an important component of any research paper or long-form written assignment because it gives credit to the authors, editors, and organizations that you have consulted when conducting your research study. It also gives readers of your work a list of resources they may want to read if they find your work interesting and would like to delve into the subject further. It also gives validity to your work because it demonstrates the work you put in to search for credible material that helped you arrive at your conclusions.

The bibliography can contain books, journals, articles, interviews, speeches, presentations, recordings, websites and more. Anything you consulted can go in – if it relates in some way to your topic and provides you direction in pursuit of proving or disproving your thesis. An annotated bibliography assignment is slightly different in that it also includes a summary of the resource. This can be useful to students because it can save them time by knowing exactly what an item on the list will be about.

There is a very specific way how to write a bibliography for an assignment which will explain concisely here with examples:

How to Write Bibliography for Assignment

  1. All entries should be in alphabetical order using the author’s last name. In cases where there are multiple authors, the first author should take precedence. This is also true when there is a single or multiple editors. For example:
    • Miller, Adam. The Fastest Way to Get Fit. San Francisco: Random House, 2014.
    • Miller, Adam and Michael Thomas. Even a Faster Way to Get Fit. San Francisco: Random House, 2014
  2. If there are multiple entries by the same author, you will list them in alphabetical order based on the title of the entry if using the MLA, Chicago, or Turabian style. For example:
    • Miller, Adam. The Fastest Way to Get Fit. San Francisco: Random House, 2014
    • Miller, Adam. Very Effective Weight Loss Tips. San Francisco: Random House, 2008
  3. If there are multiple entries by the same author and you are using APA style, you will list the entries in order of date. For example:
    • Miller, Adam. Very Effective Weight Loss Tips. San Francisco: Random House, 2008
    • Miller, Adam. The Fastest Way to Get Fit. San Francisco: Random House, 2014

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

As noted above in the introduction, an annotated bibliography is the same as a bibliography with one extra feature: a summary of the resource listed. Here is an annotated bibliography assignment example to help explain this slight difference:

  1. Miller, Adam. Very Effective Weight Loss Tips. San Francisco: Random House, 2008

    Miller explains thermodynamics and its role in rapid and effective weight loss through science. Lowering our body temperatures causes adults to burn more energy to get their temperatures back to normal, therefore burning more calories in the process.

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