Organize Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Step-by-Step

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Organize Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Step-by-Step
Table of Contents
  1. Organize Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Step-by-Step
  2. What is an annotated bibliography
  3. 1.Summary or descriptive
  4. 2. Evaluative
  5. What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography
  6. How long should an annotated bibliography be?
  7. What is an annotation
  8. How long should annotations be
  9. How do you format annotated bibliography
  10. Chicago style annotated bibliography format
  11. Chicago style annotated bibliography sample

Studying in college students often get assignments to prepare annotations that inform readers about the relevance of the chosen sources, their accuracy, and quality. If you are among those students who are looking for additional materials that will help you improve the quality and fast completion of your annotation writing or those who need to learn how to write an annotated bibliography from the very beginning, this guide is for you. We have gathered the most important information about the formatting of annotations in one place. In case any extra questions occur while reading the guide, you can ask 'write me an essay' and get an online writing assistance. 


 What is an annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is an academic paper with a list of citations ( that reminds a literature review ) that refer to credible sources like books, articles, or some documents. You should provide a brief description of each citation. In other words, it is an evaluative paragraph that measures sources' relevance, accuracy, and quality. Usually, it takes up to 200 words ( in particular, 150 words is perfect length) to annotate one source briefly. While some of you wonder about the necessity of preparing annotations, there are various reasons for writing the annotations. Among the most important reasons to write such academic papers there are:

  • ability to evaluate sources' credibility
  • ability to evaluate sources'  authority
  • the use of the highest quality source in writing.

1.Summary or descriptive 

While a bibliography usually just consists of the bibliographic information, for example, the author, title, year of publication, and publisher, an annotation remains to be a summary that involves the evaluation of that source. Therefore, the term annotated bibliography refers to the brief overview along with an evaluation of each of the sources from the list of bibliographies. When it comes to the descriptive annotations without any evaluation, it will provide just a short summary of the particular source. 

2. Evaluative

Evaluative annotated bibliographies aim to provide some evaluation and additional analysis to each source aside from the summary of it. Such type of annotations is more informative than the descriptive one, as it can help the writer measure the accuracy and quality of the particular source. 

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What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography 

If you are working on annotation, you should remember that each description consists of three crucial parts, no matter whether it is a book, article, website, or any other type of citation. The major parts of an annotated bibliography are the following:

  1. a brief overview of the main discussion of the particular source
  2. a summary of the thesis statement and argumentation in the source
  3. a  concise description of the source's usefulness for your study.

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How long should an annotated bibliography be?  

The length of the paper depends on the assignment. Sometimes, professors expect to get detailed well-written annotations to the list of 10 sources. In such a case, the whole annotated bibliography paper will take about 1500 words in length. To put it differently, an evaluative annotation of one source should vary between 150-200 words. 

What is an annotation 

The term annotation refers to a brief note created for each citation from the list of annotations. Taking into consideration the goal of annotations is to summarize the source briefly. Such a summary aims to explain why the particular source is important for an assigned topic. Annotations vary in their purpose, therefore, they can be descriptive, critical, or mixed. While a descriptive annotation aims to describe what is presented in the book, article, or document, a critical annotation focuses on the evaluation or critique of the source.

How long should annotations be 

An annotation typically takes a single concise paragraph; however, it might be longer if the professor requires a detailed summarizing and evaluating. Such a paragraph should be between 150 and 200 words. As far as annotations should be brief, there is no need to overwrite this task. 

How do you format annotated bibliography 

Students should pay attention to the formatting of the annotated bibliography since it differs from the classical essay format. Each annotation should be written in one paragraph, which consists of three-six sentences (150 - 200 words). Also, writing annotations, students should start from the creation of the reference list organized in the required style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, ASA style). This paper should be double spaced without any extra lines between the citations. Sometimes, the list of citations occurs very long. In such case, a writer can organize that list by topic. According to the formatting basics, there should be applied the third person to the annotation's description instead of the first person. 

Chicago style annotated bibliography format

When it comes to formatting annotations according to the Chicago style requirements, students should pay attention to the aspects of this formatting style that make it a bit more complicated than the others. To understand the formatting rules typical to the Chicago style, here are some examples of the most common sources, like books and journal/online/magazine articles formatted according to the Chicago rules:

1. Book
"Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life.New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015.
2. Chapter of the book
"Thoreau, Henry David. “Walking.” In The Making of the American Essay, edited by John D’Agata, 167–95. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016."
3. Translated book
"Lahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words. Translated by Ann Goldstein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016."
4. E-book
"Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851."
5. Journal article
"Satterfield, Susan. “Livy and the Pax Deum.” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 165–76."
6. Magazine article
"Pegoraro, Rob. “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple.” Washington Post, July 5, 2007. LexisNexis Academic."
7. Book review
"Kakutani, Michiko. “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges.” Review of Swing Time, by Zadie Smith. New York Times, November 7, 2016.
8. Interview
"Stamper, Kory. “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English.” Interview by Terry Gross. Fresh Air, NPR, April 19, 2017. Audio, 35:25."
9. Thesis
"Rutz, Cynthia Lillian. “King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues.” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2013."
10. Website
"Yale University. “About Yale: Yale Facts.” Accessed May 1, 2017."

Chicago style annotated bibliography sample 

If you need to see an example of how a Chicago style annotation looks like, check the sample below.

"Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998.

Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbols and rituals, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts."

College life is full of academic assignments. Sometimes, students stuck on writing annotations properly, especially when it comes to the Chicago/Turabian style formatting. After having read an overview of the fundamentals of annotations' formatting, you would be prepared for any difficulties with an assignment to prepare annotations. In case you still have some issues or unanswered questions regarding how to write an annotated bibliography, how to format this piece of writing, or how should an annotated bibliography in Chicago style look like, our experts will help you solve your problems any time you like.