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How To Compose An APA Research Paper Annotated Bibliography

Okay, so you have wrestled with your research paper for weeks now and you can see the end in sight; light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to tie up the loose ends and are a little worried that doing that might take as long as writing the actual document. I understand that if you have never done one before that the thought of compiling an annotated bibliography might be a scary process. I mean, it is understandable to worry about leaving things out, and having your whole assignment marked down just because of a stupid oversight. In reality, rather than being a four-headed monster, a bibliography for an APA research paper is no different from those that you will compile for the countless other assignments that you are going to produce throughout your academic career. The trick is to simply keep it in perspective and adopt a “Can do” attitude.

Still struggling, don’t worry. We have all had brain freeze moments – usually at the worst possible time. Simply follow foolproof tips and tricks and you should be able to whizz through your bibliography in no time at all:

First up, let’s just quickly run through what an APA paper is

APA stands for American Psychological Association, and is a style adopted by many academic institutions which they expect their students to follow to the letter. (Harvard is another example).

What comprises the bibliography?

The bibliography is broken down into two parts:

  • APA Style Citation
  • The actual annotation

Is an annotation the same as an abstract?

No, absolutely not! I don’t know why but a lot of students make the mistake of confusing an annotation with an abstract. Just so that we are one-hundred percent clear, they are entirely different. If you need guidance compiling an abstract then a simple Google search will bring up all of the information that you need.

How do I write my annotation?

It is actually a lot less complicated than you might think. In a nutshell you need to hone your argument and summarize it in just a few sentences. There is nothing stopping you from dividing it up into sections or topics if your annotated bibliography is longer. You may also wish to include titles. Doing the above will give it a structure that it might otherwise have lacked.


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