An annotated bibliography contains traditional reference citations (in MLA, APA, or another standard format) plus one to three paragraphs of summary information. As opposed to a normal bibliography, an annotated bibliography serves two additional purposes: it helps remind you what each reference contains and how you planned to use the reference once it comes down to writing your essay, and it helps those reading your essay learn more about the sources you cited. Writing an annotated bibliography for websites is done in the same manner as other annotated bibliography references.
- Skill level:
Determine which citation style your essay will follow. Common choices include APA or MLA formatting.
For APA style, input the following at the top of the page:
[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]. ([Date of Publication]). [Title of Website]. Retrieved from http://[Website URL]
Replace the bracketed information with the details for your specific website. (Do not include the brackets). The title of the website must be italicized.
Doe, John. (2010). All About Bunnies. Retrieved from http://www.rabbit.org/>
For MLA style, input the following at the top of the page:
[Author Last Name], [Author First Name]. "[Title of Page]." [Title of Overall Website]. [Publisher Name], [Publication Date]. Web. [Date of Access].
Replace the bracketed information with the details for your specific website. (Do not include the brackets). The title of the website page must be italicized.
Doe, John. "What to Feed Bunnies." Bunnies Galore. Bunnies Inc., 26 May 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2010.
Write one paragraph summarising the website. What material did it cover? Did it make an argument, and if so, what was it? What were the main points supporting the argument?
Write one paragraph evaluating the website. Was it written by a credible source? Were there holes in its arguments? Was it published on a reputable site or a personal blog? What concerns might an objective third party have about the reliability of this site?
Write one paragraph detailing how you believe the information on the website will fit into your essay. Mention any specific points found on the site that you intend to include in your own writing.
Tips and warnings
- A three-paragraph annotation for each source is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule. If a website is brief, it may not warrant three paragraphs of information. The main point of the annotation is to remind yourself of what the source contains and how you can use it to further your own argument in your essay.
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