Both college and university students frequently receive assignments that require them to create annotated bibliographies. Although basically, it is an extended version of the usual bibliography, this type of bibliography is often more time and energy-consuming because students need to list sources and write short summaries and assessments for each of them. In order to write it really well, it is important to define your topic clearly.
The topics that professors of US colleges provide are often quite broad. Therefore, it is up to students to narrow their individual annotated bibliography topics in scope to choose the most relevant sources. Here are some recommendations on how to choose worthy topics and write a paper that will impress your professors.
Definition & Purpose of Writing
Before discussing annotated bibliography ideas, let’s clarify its definition and how it differs from a simple bibliography. Bibliographies known as References or Works Cited, depending on the chosen formatting style, only list sources used in a paper. In contrast, annotated bibliographies have more broad purposes as they list and describe and/or evaluate all sources to which students refer in their research papers or other kinds of essays. Don't forget: the struggle is not necessary for the learning process - just buy assignment online and enjoy your college days!
Although annotated bibliographies are often presented at the very end of papers, they should be completed long before paper drafting after reference pages. Students may prepare them with different purposes in mind. Here are some goals students may pursue:
- Topic clarification – annotated bibliography may help clarify topics, narrowing scopes from general subjects to precise questions that may be effectively addressed in works of a requested length.
- Thesis statement development – based on the current state of research, students elaborate their thesis statements, making them arguable and persuasive.
- Collecting relevant evidence – upon reviewing relevant sources, students collect evidence they need to make strong arguments in their research papers.
- Identifying most promising research areas – annotated bibliographies clarify what has already been done; what research and conclusions are still to be made.
- Critical review of existing research – students critically assess existing studies, revealing unspecified biases or limitations.
Disregarding the exact purpose of writing this paper type, one always gains advantages from this kind of work. They enable students to collect the most relevant information along with presenting it in a form that can be quickly reviewed in the future.
What is an annotated bibliography essay?
It is important to distinguish annotated bibliographies from essays as the first are created at the preparation stage for essay or research paper writing. Usually, they require neither introduction nor conclusion, but in some cases, both may be included. If your instructor demands you to write an annotated bibliography essay, keep the introduction and a conclusion rather brief. In the introduction, identify your topic clearly, specify your intentions for an annotated bibliography essay.
Annotated Bibliography Topics List
Here are some topics for annotated bibliography that we’ve prepared for your convenience. They are divided into categories by subjects. Among the presented topics, there are several rather broad, but depending on your paper length, feel free to narrow the scope of your chosen topic. Mind that there are dozens of options for individual approach!
Annotated bibliography topics related to politics and political science
- How has politics changed due to modernization lately?
- How has terrorism affected US politics?
- Does the increasing focus on presidential candidates suggest that American political parties are becoming weak? Explain why.
- Religion and politics: how religion shapes the United States political space?
- How American foreign policy affects political decisions in neighboring countries?
- Politics and business: how US political decisions affect business worldwide?
- Political decisions and their consequences: how will cutting off Huawei from American technology affect the United States and/or European consumers?
- Is a balance of power still achievable in today’s US politics?
- As there are only two political parties, how democratic is American society, given that other democracies worldwide allow citizens to choose among dozens of parties?
- How has American politics changed due to new social media development and popularity?
Annotated bibliography topics for education
- Teacher classroom practices and student performance: effects of particular practices on students’ educational outcomes.
- Which educational practices are developmentally appropriate for early childhood education?
- Ethics and politics in early childhood education.
- Racial disparities and the American classroom: how racial discrimination affects racial minority students, white students, or learning altogether?
- Home-schooling versus traditional educational classroom: which one is better?
- Is measurement-driven instruction still relevant today?
- A common curriculum versus individual curriculum: which one is more beneficial for students? Discuss why.
- Who should determine what students learn, schools, parents, or government?
- Race and education: multiculturalism versus color-blindness and their impact on racial bias.
- Racial color blindness and its implications for American classroom.
Annotated bibliography topics for psychology
- How biological processes determine human behavior?
- Is alcoholism a disease that can be cured with psychological interference?
- Is psychotherapy effective?
- Should there be any academic instruction for preschool children?
- Can an individual’s intelligence increase with age?
- Positive psychology and its daily life applications.
- Behavior predictions in personality and social psychology.
- Internet, its implications on personality and social psychology.
- A social constructivist approach and language learning.
- Statistical methods used in psychology.
Annotated bibliography topics examples for healthcare
- Discuss differences between Medicaid and Medicare.
- Can all United States citizens have equal access to healthcare?
- Implications of abortion illegal status: impact of lack of abortion clinic access on women’s health and welfare.
- Veterans’ healthcare: health-related quality of life.
- Modern technology, healthcare: how has US healthcare within the last twenty years due to technology innovations.
- Big data analytics in healthcare.
- Transcultural nursing.
- Workplace stress in nursing.
- Evidence-based practice in healthcare as well as nursing.
- Role of emotional intelligence in healthcare along with nursing practices.
Criminal justice annotated bibliography topics
- Which one is more serious: street crime or white-collar crime?
- Can arrests reduce domestic violence?
- How should juveniles be treated by the US criminal justice system?
- Is the US criminal justice system racially biased?
- Discuss the school-to-prison pipeline concept; its effects on racial minorities.
- Is the death penalty an effective crime deterrent?
- Discuss the death penalty in relation to women, the mentally disabled, the US constitution.
- Does policing in racial minority communities differ from policing in white communities. Discuss how exactly.
- Are there any biological determinants of criminal behavior?
- How social factors promote crime?
Annotated bibliography topics for ethics, morality
- Animal rights in the Information Age.
- Should rich nations financially support poor nations?
- Surrogate motherhood: pros and cons.
- How important is morality? Should it be enforced by law in the United States?
- Teen pregnancy: it's short-term as well as long-term implications.
- Ethics and morality in American high schools.
- Adolescent marriages.
- Moral responsibilities of rehabilitating criminals.
- Is advertising ethical? Discuss moral implications of advertising.
- Ethics and morality in business.
Society, social issues annotated bibliography topics
- Homelessness in the US; its impacts on particular territories; for instance, New York homelessness issue.
- Drunk driving, its implications, as well as effective deterrents.
- Obesity as a social issue. What social factors contribute to obesity?
- The vaccine war: should vaccination be compulsory?
- Capital punishment is a US social issue.
- Consumer culture and people’s supermarket choices.
- The mainstream culture concept. Mainstream culture effects on cultural minorities.
- Women’s bodies objectification: who is there to blame?
- Success in today’s society: meaning, ways of achieving it.
- Society and gender: are women less privileged in modern American society than men?
Annotated bibliography topics examples for technology, social media
- Do modern social media help solve problems in the United States or other countries worldwide? Discuss how exactly.
- Do socials create problems in the US?
- What effects do media have on children's experiences? Does childhood now differ from childhood 20 years ago?
- How media contribute to ever-increasing globalization?
- How modern social media affect American values?
- Is privacy possible in the Information Age?
- How media images impact youth behavior?
- The political power of social media.
- How communication technology and social media changed PR practices?
- Government transparency enabled by social media technology.
Technology, genetic engineering annotated bibliography topics
- How can human cloning affect modern society? Is it good/ morally acceptable or not?
- Law effects on human cloning: what legal regulations should governments worldwide introduce?
- Modern reproductive technologies and religion: how faith affects decision-making?
- How can human cloning be used as a means against genetic diseases?
- How can genetic engineering be regulated?
- Genetic engineering as a means to resolve health-related issues.
- Funding genetic engineering projects: which projects should be prioritized?
- Does genetic engineering change human life value perceptions?
- Genetic engineering ethical implications.
- The spirit of invention versus public opposition to genetic engineering.
Technology, healthcare topics
- What effects does telemedicine technology have on healthcare quality?
- Addressing mental health issues with technology: integrating smartphone technology.
- Healthcare information technology and physicians’ experiences/responses.
- Healthcare information systems: how have they changed within the last several decades?
- Improving the quality of healthcare with technology: innovations in surgery.
- Digitization of healthcare through mobile technology.
- How can speech-recognition technology be applied for healthcare purposes?
- The problem of donor shortage and organ replacement technologies.
- Funding priorities impact technology developments that bring direct medical benefits to US citizens.
- Costs and benefits of health information technology.
Sport annotated bibliography topics
- Should adolescents become engaged in professional sports?
- The political side of the Olympic Games in modern society.
- Should there be a more scientific approach to Yoga practices?
- The influence of chess in relation to pre-school children.
- How to obtain statistics of injuries in team sports.
- The ways of treatment of the most frequent knee traumas.
- The psychological effect of motivation in sports.
- Does aggression have a place to be in a sports competition?
- The comparison of long-term and short-term training sessions.
- How should unintentional mistakes be analyzed in sports.
Annotated bibliography topics for nursing
- What are the dangers of nursing burnout?
- Should the nurses be allowed to share their life experiences with the patients?
- The motivational factors in ER nursing challenges.
- The dangers of biostatistics collection.
- The most common epidemiology precautions since 2010.
- Are the works of nursing theorists of the past still relevant today?
- Should the non-traditional nursing practices be approached more seriously?
- The ways how the typical nursing environment can be improved.
- The roots of antibiotic resistance in schoolchildren.
- The stress and the nursing responsibilities: analysis and prevention.
Medical annotated bibliography topics examples
- The causes of ADHD in children and the attitudes.
- The causes of autism: analysis of the social stigma.
- The challenges of the paramedical team in rural areas.
- The logistics and the distribution of the medical equipment.
- Should people receive more information about the creation of vaccines?
- The pharmaceutical risks when providing medical instructions.
- The herbal medicine solutions vs their chemical counterparts.
- The HIV rates among African-American college students.
- The most successful medical initiatives of the 2000s.
- The behavioral rules of taking one's child to the medical appointment.
Annotated bibliography topics for business
- How does racial discrimination affect modern business opportunities?
- The challenges of expanding business initiatives in the Middle East.
- Should business ethics and politics be separate or can they work well together?
- The role of females in the business environment.
- Should prestige and fame be the leading factors to business success?
- The educational practices that make the business accessible.
- The Nordic practices, which are common for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
- How should business ethics be formed for finance-focused companies?
- The role of social media and blog posts for business.
- How can the basic knowledge of Psychology help entrepreneurs get rid of stress and anxiety?
Structure & Formatting Rules You Should Follow
No matter what your topic for annotated bibliography is, you should follow a certain structure and format the information you present in accordance with particular requirements. Although APA and MLA are the two most frequently used formats, annotated bibliographies follow different formatting styles. Therefore, before writing, you should clarify this aspect with your professor.
Usually, all annotated bibliographies contain two major parts: a reference and an annotation. In your reference part, you should specify usual information about a source: author, title, year, place of publication. As for annotations, there are several approaches to their content that will be discussed a bit later.
Mind that your choice of proper formatting style also depends on subjects. For instance, when preparing annotated bibliography for humanities or arts, you should follow MLA. In contrast, psychology or sociology papers often demand students follow APA formatting requirements. While these styles are quite widespread, with others like CSE, which is used in physics or chemistry papers, Bluebook citation style, used in law assignments, or IEEE, which is applied in IT papers, and AMA, used in healthcare works, students are less familiar.
Luckily, EduBirdie provides its customers with free access to IEEE bibliography generator as well as Turabian bibliography generator. Please, feel free to use them to create references that are often presented before annotations.
How do you write an annotated bibliography in Harvard style?
While writing an annotated bibliography in Harvard style, include a reference that follows this referencing style and annotation that briefly summarizes the content of the source, explains its relevance to your research paper, establishes its credibility, critically assesses the conclusions presented in the source. Limit your descriptions to 100-200 words unless your professor specifies otherwise.
Harvard Annotated Bibliography Essay Example:
Atkins, M., Hoagwood, K., Kutash, K. and Seidman, E., 2010. Toward the Integration of Education and Mental Health in Schools. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 37(1-2), pp.40-47.
This particular review focuses on the children's mental health services with a focus on schools by providing crucial ecological models. The article shows that mental health can and should be provided for the healthy functioning of students. The authors provide statistical information and details that help to see things through the lens of various educational reforms and conceptualization. Focusing on strong research points like health promotion and analysis of the outcomes, this research provides important results in terms of emotional and behavioral needs of not only school children but the parents as well.
Note: Remember that you should always consult with your academic counselor regarding the rules and specifics of an annotated bibliography in Harvard style because your length and requirements for the annotation may differ depending on your course and the style of your original research work. One thing that will always remain there is the necessity of citing your source according to the Harvard formatting rules.
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How Do You Write an Annotated Bibliography in MLA Style Format?
According to the 8th edition of the MLA Citation Guide, the annotated bibliography will remind you of a Works Cited page but will include an annotation after each source that you cite. It will also have a short summary with the critical evaluation of each source.
Here is how it is written:
- Cite each source using MLA style.
- Provide a description of the main ideas, arguments, themes, theses, or methodology.
- Identify the intended audience.
- Explain the author’s expertise, point of view, and any bias if it is relevant.
- Make a comparison to other sources dealing with the same topic.
- Explain why each source is useful for your research topic and how it relates to your topic.
- Analyze both strengths and weaknesses of each source.
- Identify the list of conclusions of the author.
One of Annotated Bibliography examples in MLA:
Pisano, Gary. "Seven Strategic Thinking Methods in Online Business Environment."
Business Manager, vol. 34, no. 7, May 12, 2007, pp. 36-39. Gary, the instructor at the Harvard Business School and Professor of Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development, provides a detailed explanation of how the strategic thinking methods help to determine the clues in the modern business environment where most things happen digitally. He uses specific examples depending on the scenario he is placed in and provides various methods of meeting the challenges and setbacks in online business. The article clearly illustrates his expert knowledge and provides high accessibility in terms of style and vocabulary used, making a perfect example for making business matters accessible for a broad audience.
How Do You Write an Annotated Bibliography in APA Style Format?
According to APA 7th Edition Guide, the crucial components of an annotated bibliography example must include a brief summary with analysis or annotation for each entry. You must include:
- Create your APA Title page
- Pages must be numbered starting with your title page.
- APA formatted reference list must start on its own page.
- The references must be centered and bolded at the top of the page.
- Your entries must be listed in alphabetical order.
- Annotations must start under its associated reference.
- All annotations are indented 0.5 inches from the left margin of the page.
- The entire document is double spaced without extra space between entries.
Turner, T. (2019, June 11). How to make acoustic waves affect the brain positively.
Engineering Weekly Journal, 45-49. Engineering Audio Portal Rutgers University Library Archive. https://vmpa.camden.rutgers.edu/ This article provides important information regarding the positive effects of acoustic waves used by music producers and TV show producers to improve cognitive functions of the brain and the overall performance of a person. Each strategy used is accompanied by helpful real-life examples and statistical information that is helpful for any application. The data that has been provided is analyzed well and assists in similar analytical work.
How Do You Write an Annotated Bibliography in Chicago Style Format?
Speaking of Chicago Manual of Style rules for an annotated bibliography, follow this formatting and always double-check in case your instructor for the course or a specific assignment has different instructions:
- The text in your bibliography essay example must be double-spaced in Times New Roman, font 12pt unless specified otherwise.
- Numbering should start on the first page of your writing, which means that it is NOT the title page.
- The text should start at the top of the page.
- Your Reference List entries must have a hanging indent. For example, if you are using MS Word, Click on Format, then Paragraph, then Special, and choose a Hanging option.
- There should be 1 inch (2.54cm) margins on all sides of your page (top, bottom, left, and right).
- Indent each paragraph with the help of the TAB key.
Sample Annotated Bibliography:
Kerry, Donald, and Roger Mills. "Child Violence in Middle School Environment, 1994-2004." Journal of Family Psychology 34, no 2 (2009): 331-347.
The acknowledged sociology experts Kerry and Mills provide extensive research on child violence and the causes of bullying in middle school across the country during the period between 1994-2004. Turning to various surveys, interviews, and reports of school counselors, the report provides sufficient statistics for any research work. The research also has an analysis of poverty and income in terms of demographic factors and the aspects of psychological pressure, which is also essential for the report.
Annotated Bibliography Styles
Annotated bibliographies can be divided into three distinct groups by style:
- Summarizing annotated bibliography
Annotated bibliographies belonging to this category can be further subdivided into those that describe sources, indicating overall information about the content and those that inform readers, providing more detailed summaries of reviewed sources. For instance, informative annotations of academic articles will clarify the sources’ hypotheses, methods, results, and limitations among other important features.
- Evaluative annotated bibliography
These annotations aim at assessing the quality of sources and arguing regarding the relevance of given sources to the conducted research. Students writing them should also specify any limitations they find that were not acknowledged by authors. Writing such annotations, students need to read sources critically, which suggests that the quality of their pre-writing research increases significantly.
- Mixed annotated bibliography
As evident, these annotations require students to prepare summaries as well as assessments. Usually, students present a brief source summary in the first paragraph of annotation. The assessment follows in the second paragraph. Students may clarify how they should use the reviewed sources in their papers in the third brief paragraph.
College-level annotations are often short. It is enough to write 100-200 words for each source. Although longer annotations are also possible, especially when tasks demand students evaluate sources, it is important to clarify this aspect with your professor before completing assignments.
What should be included in an annotated bibliography?
In their annotations, students should summarize sources’ content, provide an assessment of ideas presented in sources, and explain how reviewed sources will be used in the paper. The exact content of annotations depends on the requested style. Therefore, it is important to clarify this aspect with professors.
How to Choose Good Topics
When choosing among annotated bibliography topics, consider your paper length. The longer your assignment is, the more complex your topic may be. As for shorter papers, it is beneficial to limit topics in scope to make the strongest argument. For instance, the human trafficking topic would be too general, too wide in scope for a 5-page paper.
There is so much information available about human trafficking that it is virtually impossible to squeeze it into five pages of text. Therefore, it is more sound to try and divide this large topic into subtopics.
For instance, in the context of human trafficking, one can discuss particular population groups that are most affected by this phenomenon in a particular country, specific measures introduced by governmental agencies to eliminate this practice within the borders of certain country, police and other agencies’ responses to human trafficking victims in particular states and so on.
Each of these sub-topics may become an excellent start, as it narrows the research scope significantly, enabling students to choose sources more precisely. Additionally, these sub-topics allow students to develop strong argumentative thesis statements, which would be impossible with such a general topic as human trafficking.
What Sources Are Good for Annotated Bibliography?
While the choice of sources often depends on particular assignment guidelines, mind that all sources that you plan to cite in the paper should be present in your annotated bibliography. The sources are rather diverse and include academic articles, books or book chapters, credible websites or governmental agencies’ reports, lecture notes, or blog posts, among many others.
Academic writing demands students to use credible sources. Therefore, Wikipedia and the like websites should be neither cited nor annotated. While choosing among the many options, look for different information sources, but mind that academic articles are often considered most preferred. They usually contain credible, most relevant information on a given topic.
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