Using the Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Format

Looking at a Chicago style annotated bibliography example is often the easiest way to understand just how your own should look. Not following the style correctly if that is what you need to use within your paper could see your writing rejected. It is vital that you use the correct academic style in your writing exactly the way it should be used.

How an Annotated Bibliography Is Created
  • search for relevant sources3 min / source
  • skim through the referencefrom 7 min / source
  • read info about the authorfrom 4 min / source
  • write an annotationfrom 6 min / source
  • format the referencefrom 2 min / source
Are you sure you want to waste over 20 minutes of your life on bibliography?

Chicago style is one of the most common formats that is used and will tell you just how your citations and references should be laid out and the information that they should contain. The annotated bibliography is a list of those citations followed by the annotation. This annotation is a summary and evaluation of the sources that you have used and can be around 150 words in length or longer if a more in-depth analysis of the works is required.

how to format chicago style bibliography

Getting your work formatted right is not a task that many students find easy. Great care must be taken to ensure that you have exactly the right information and that you use it in just the right way. Each subject area and even different institutions will have different requirements as to which style you should use. You will also have to take into account what expectations they have for your annotation.


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Writing the Perfect Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography

Whether your bib is part of a standalone assignment of part of a larger paper the methods that you should follow are the same. Our guidance below if followed will help you to make sure that your writing is done in the manner that is required:Great Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Example

  • Clarify what the style requires from you with regards to information for citations before you start your research. You will need to collect information such as the authors names, the name of the publication, date of publication and the page numbers covered, etc.
  • Finding sources that are relevant will require you to have a well developed thesis or research questions. Make sure that yours is well developed and that you understand it fully before you start looking for sources.
  • Use scholarly search engines as well as your library to ensure that you find trustworthy and relevant sources of information. Use a wide variety of different sources such as journals, research papers and literature and not just websites that may not be the most trusted source.
  • Maintain comprehensive notes as you do your research so that you can be sure that you have all of the information required for your citations and annotations.
  • Have a clear understanding of what your supervisor wants from your annotations. Are they looking for a simple 150 word summary of the sources or do they want a 2 page in-depth analysis of each?
  • For a summary you will want to cover:
    • What the research question or hypothesis is of the source
    • The methods that they have utilized to undertake their research and reach their conclusions
    • What conclusions they reached with their work
  • An evaluation will require you to make a more thorough analysis of what you are reading. Typically you will cover:
    • How relevant the work is to your own specific area of research
    • Is the author a perceived expert in this field?
    • Have they other published works in this area?
    • Who was the writing aimed at when it was written?
    • Is the author biased or do they have any other agenda?
    • Are their flaws within the research presented or other weaknesses?
    • How it fits in with the other sources you are citing
  • Once written you must carefully proofread your work. All academic writing at this level must be error free and written perfectly if you want to get the results you are looking for.

As Gallaudet University instructs you:

“The reference (bibliography) page is the alphabetized list of sources that you used to write your paper. It should be placed at the end of your paper, on a separate page. It should be titled “Bibliography,” “References,” or “Works Cited” depending on your teacher’s specifications. Your references and your footnotes or endnotes will contain the same information, but the notes are numbered in the order they appear in your paper, while the references should be alphabetized by author’s last name. Each entry will use a hanging indent (meaning the first line of the entry is at the margin, and the next line(s) is indented five spaces). Your word processing software should be able to provide the hanging indent feature.”

Follow Our Example of Annotated Bibliography Chicago Style Use

The following example of Chicago style annotated bibliography use will help you to see just how your own citations should be formatted within the bibliography:

For a Book with a single Author:

Brown, Oscar. Sleeping after a hard night out. Colchester, England: Broadhurst, 2003.

The annotation will follow the citation here.

For Books with Two or more Authors, note that the surname comes first only for the first author:

Brown, Oscar B., Emily Smith, and Emile Willis. Finding the center. Perth, WA: This University, 2001.

You place your written annotation here.

For a Journal Article:

Brown, Oscar B. “Keeping fish waiting.” Practical fish breeding 78, no. 3 (2014): 159-162.

The evaluation of the article follows the citation here.

If you have reviewed our Chicago style annotated bibliography example and still want additional support with your referencing just get in touch with our specialists here today for help you can trust.