An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for books, articles, documents, etc. on a topic, where each citation is followed by a brief descriptive paragraph (annotation). Annotations summarize and evaluate the source, describing relevance to the topic and quality.
Creating an annotated bibliography in Microsoft Word is simple once you know the steps. This article will walk you through the entire process, from formatting your document to writing your annotations. Follow these steps to easily generate an annotated bibliography in Word that perfectly fits the required formatting.
Step 1: Format the Document
First, open a new blank Word document and set up the formatting:
- Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt
- Line Spacing: Double
- Margins: 1 inch all around
- Insert page numbers in the top right corner
Next, type a title at the top such as “Annotated Bibliography” or choose a title related to your topic. Hit enter and then type your name, the date, and the course or assignment details if needed.
Step 2: Add Citations & References
The next step is to add citations for your sources. Type each reference in alphabetical order, hitting enter between each one. The specific formatting will vary based on the style guide you are following:
Author Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year). Title of work. Publication Details.
Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Work”. Publication Details, Year, page range.
Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Work. Publication city: Publisher Name, Year.
Be consistent with the formatting to keep your bibliography organized.
Step 3: Write the Annotations
Once all sources are cited, it’s time to write the annotations. Indent the first line of each paragraph instead of only indenting the first line. This creates a hanging indent that allows you to easily match annotations to their citations.
Write a concise paragraph summarizing the key information for each source:
- Main argument, findings or conclusions
- Scope and content
- Relevance to the research topic
- Any special features like graphs or charts
Annotations should objectively describe the source, including both positive and negative assessments. Use an academic tone and avoid personal pronouns like “I” or “you”.
Step 4: Format the Annotations
Apply consistent paragraph formatting to polish the annotated bibliography:
- Annotations should be in paragraph form with double spacing between them
- Use hanging indents for easy visual association with the citations
- Set paragraph alignment to justified to cleanly fit text to both margins
Step 5: Final Touches
Before completing your annotated bibliography in Word, finish by:
- Proofreading for spelling/grammar errors
- Ensuring formatting and style are consistent
- Confirming annotations match respective citations logically
Following these simple steps will help you efficiently create a properly formatted annotated bibliography in Word to meet any academic need. Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips for making annotated bibliographies easy.