How to write a Great Annotated bibliography

Written by Brandon L.
July 31, 20239 min read
nursing-annotated-bibliography-guide-plus-topics

One of the typical nursing school assignments is to write an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography can be a stand-alone assignment or part of a trail of assignments culminating in a research paper, term paper, essay, or literature review.

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (peer-reviewed scholarly nursing articles, books, websites, or datasets) on a specific nursing topic arranged alphabetically by author, followed by annotations formatted in a single/consistent citation style.

An annotated bibliography proves that you have researched the topic and have enough content to support your arguments and claims. It also explains the content of the sources and assesses their usefulness in addressing your research topic or question. You write an annotated bibliography of the relevant, accurate, and quality sources you wish to cite or have cited in your paper.

Annotated bibliographies are not the same as abstracts. Abstracts are descriptive summaries of a specific paper (scientific/scholarly journal, term paper, research paper, dissertation, or capstone paper). On the other hand, annotated bibliographies comprise a full citation and an annotation that is a descriptive and critical analysis of the source and sometimes the author’s credibility. 

Anatomy of an Annotated Bibliography

A good Annotated bibliography has the following sections:

To score well in your annotated bibliography, ensure it features these parts. You can use the explanation above as a template when developing an annotated bibliography. Remember, an annotated bibliography differs from a systematic review or evidence evaluation table. Although both provide summaries of the articles, the formats and intentions are different.

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Reference Lists vs. Annotated Bibliography

Nursing students often wonder whether an annotated bibliography is the same as a reference list. Even though the two have full bibliographic citations, they serve different purposes and formats.

A reference list is placed at the end of a paper after the conclusion, whereas an annotated bibliography can be a stand-alone paper or part of a longer paper.

Although both are organized in alphabetical order of the author (s) names, the annotated bibliography has annotations capped at between 100 and 150 words. The reference list lists the full citations of the scholarly materials cited within the paper.

In the annotations, you must locate the sources, read or skim them, take notes, and write a comprehensive summary and critical analysis of each source.

Unlike the reference list that is formatted last, an annotated bibliography is formatted as you write the

You must only include credible scholarly articles in the annotated bibliography and the reference list. In the case of nursing, only use peer-reviewed journal articles from reliable nursing journals.

Related: How to write a nursing case study paper.

Steps for Writing a Good Annotated Bibliography for Nursing Papers

You must use your writing and research skills to create a professional annotated bibliography that checks all the boxes. The process entails concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research skills. If you have been assigned to write a nursing annotated bibliography, you need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Read the Instructions

Every professor has instructions students must follow to get higher marks or grades. As with other nursing school assignments, take some time before starting the paper to read the instructions. Know the scope of the paper, the number of sources to include, and the citation/formatting style to use.

When you pay our writers to do your nursing annotated bibliography, for instance, they begin with reading the instructions you provide. This fact makes them write top-grade nursing papers that give our clients an edge when writing their subsequent papers.

Step 2:  Choose a Good Topic

You also need to select a good annotated bibliography topic. Most of the nursing research papers and essay topics are suitable for your annotated bibliography. If you are to write on medical errors or specific genetic diseases, for instance, narrow it down to a specific topic. You can write about “The impacts of medical errors on hospital readmissions” or “How genetic counseling before marriage can help reduce genetic diseases.” You can also write about topics such as “Role of nurses in caring for cancer patients.”

The bottom line is to select a topic that interests you, is relevant to your course and career interests, and is fun to write about. Do not go for complex or complicated topics. Nevertheless, if you are writing a nursing issue paper, consider debatable nursing topics related to staffing issues, nursing shortages, incivility in the workplace, addiction among nurses, etc. The same applies to reaction papers and other essays or term papers.

Sometimes professors give a list of topics you can select. Select a topic that is manageable via library research. Remember, if you are pursuing an MSN and DNP, focus on topics that deal with quality improvement issues and healthcare systems.

Step 3: Organize the Sources

After identifying the topic, you need to research the nursing journal databases. You can check databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Medline, EBSCO, ScienceDirect, CINAHL, Cochrane, Nursing Reference Center, JBI EBP Database, ClinicalKey Nursing, Embase, BioMed Central, PsychINFO, JAMA Network, etc.

Use the right keywords and a combination of words based on your annotated bibliography topics to identify the best journal articles. If you write about nursing theories or EBP processes, focus your research on specific EBP models and processes. Restrict your search to articles written and published within the last 5 years.

After identifying the sources, organize them alphabetically. Online citation management tools such as Zotero, RefWorks, Endnote, Mendeley, JabRef, BibDesk, BibTex, EasyBib, Qiqqa, and Citavi can help you organize, format, and manage the references. These tools allow you to copy and paste the alphabetized and citation-style formatted reference list into a Word document or Google Docs, where you can now start preparing your annotations. You can format your list of bibliographic citations in ASA, APA, AMA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago at the press of a button on the respective tool platforms.

Step 4: Read Each Source

Now that you have the reference list prepared, you need to read every source as you take notes. As you read each source, try to:

You can use this annotated bibliography (note-taking) worksheet or this connection/web organizer tool. Ensure that you summarize every fact that you need to cover. As you take notes, evaluate the sources and conduct a thorough critical analysis. This step entails coming up with an outline for your annotated bibliography.

Reading the sources should entail skimming through for the main points in the first step, reading critically as you take short notes, and sweeping through each article as you assess your notes.

Step 5: Write the Annotations

You can take a break after reading and taking notes to free your mind from everything. If you have a longer deadline, a few days would be enough. However, a short 5-minute break would suffice if you have an upcoming deadline.

Write a precise, concise, and critical annotation that summarizes the scope of the source (article or book) and its central arguments or findings. When writing the annotation, ensure that you choose your words wisely. You should also use linking words to knit together ideas. Ensure that the annotation entails the following:

Finally, have a concise exposition, succinct analysis, and an informed paragraph that makes sense to anyone reading it. They can envision your paper or understand your thought process when developing it. Nursing writing assignments majorly deal with finding the best sources, especially those that help establish evidence-based practice in nursing. Therefore, take the annotated bib assignments seriously; you are training for the future.

Step 6: Proofread, Edit, and Polish

Before submitting your annotated bibliography for marking, spare some time to review it. Because you have everything organized, this should not consume much time.

With or without a break, run your eyes through the paper to check for formatting, spelling, and writing mistakes. Ensure that everything that should be in bold is bolded. Check on how you have indented the bibliographic citations and the annotations Vis a Vis what the citation stylebook recommends. You should also check and correct your sentence structure. Ensure that all the sentences make sense and flow into one another. If you notice a sentence is too long, try to break it into pieces. You should mix short and long sentences.

Some professors might require that your annotated bibliography include a reference list. Ensure that you have a list formatted in a specific style and in alphabetical order according to the author names.

Related Article: Steps for writing an evidence-based paper.

Formats and Samples for Annotated Bibliography Entries

Writing a nursing annotated bibliography takes different formats and styles. You need to ensure that the full bibliographic citation and the annotation are formatted as per your selected/preferred style. That consistency must be maintained for every source in the entire assignment. Here are some insights and examples.

APA Annotated Bibliography Format

When writing an annotated bibliography in APA (American Psychological Association) style, the most used referencing and formatting style for nursing students, ensure that:

Shim, P., Choi, D., & Park, Y. (2017). Association of blood fatty acid composition and dietary pattern with the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who underwent cholecystectomy.

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 70(4), 303–311. https://doi.org/10.1159/000475605

Poyoung Shim, the lead researcher, is affiliated with the Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. In this study, Shim and colleagues sought to investigate the link between dietary patterns in patients who underwent cholecystectomy and the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study also assessed the relationship between the risk of NAFLD and erythrocyte fatty acid composition, a diet marker. The researchers included 139 patients who reported their dietary intake using a food frequency questionnaire and were all assessed for blood fatty acid composition. Out of the 139, 58 patients were diagnosed with NAFLD. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that the risk of NAFLD is negatively associated with a healthy dietary pattern of consuming fruits, fish, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.

Related Guide: How to write a nursing policy paper.

Harvard Annotated Bibliography Format

If you are pursuing nursing studies in Australia or the UK, your professor may prefer that you use either Harvard or APA formatting. The process is the same.

Shim, P., Choi, D. and Park, Y. (2017) ‘Association of blood fatty acid composition and dietary pattern with the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who underwent cholecystectomy,’

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 70(4), pp. 303–311. doi:10.1159/000475605.

Poyoung Shim, the lead researcher, is affiliated with the Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. In this study, Shim and colleagues sought to investigate the link between dietary patterns in patients who underwent cholecystectomy and the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study also assessed the relationship between the risk of NAFLD and erythrocyte fatty acid composition, a diet marker. The researchers included 139 patients who reported their dietary intake using a food frequency questionnaire and were all assessed for blood fatty acid composition. Out of the 139, 58 patients were diagnosed with NAFLD. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that the risk of NAFLD is negatively associated with a healthy dietary pattern of consuming fruits, fish, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.

AMA Style Annotated Bibliography Format

The AMA style is a preferred Vancouver format used chiefly in medical research. It helps organize sources for health science research. Even though in the real sense, you will need to number the sources, ensure that you get relevant sources, and enter them into a citation management tool for proper formatting. The same principles apply when writing an ASA Annotated Bibliography Format.

When writing an annotated bibliography in the American Medical Association format, ensure that:

Shim P, Choi D, Park Y. Association of blood fatty acid composition and dietary pattern with the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who underwent cholecystectomy.

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2017;70(4):303-311. doi:10.1159/000475605

Poyoung Shim, the lead researcher, is affiliated with the Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. In this study, Shim and colleagues sought to investigate the link between dietary patterns in patients who underwent cholecystectomy and the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study also assessed the relationship between the risk of NAFLD and erythrocyte fatty acid composition, a diet marker. The researchers included 139 patients who reported their dietary intake using a food frequency questionnaire and were all assessed for blood fatty acid composition. Out of the 139, 58 patients were diagnosed with NAFLD. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that the risk of NAFLD is negatively associated with a healthy dietary pattern of consuming fruits, fish, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.

You can use the annotated bibliography templates above to format your annotated bibliography. If you do not have time, hire our best nursing paper writers and smile your way to the best grades.

Annotated Bibliography Topics for Nursing Students

Any nursing topic is a potentially good topic for an annotated bibliography. Here are a few suggestions that you might consider:

  1. Causes and consequences of incivility in clinical settings.
  2. Impacts of incivility on new nurses.
  3. Sexual harassment of female nurses by male management staff.
  4. Impacts of nurse shortage on healthcare quality.
  5. The application of telehealth systems in clinical settings.
  6. The evolution of healthcare information systems.
  7. The integration of telepsychiatry in healthcare settings.
  8. Strategies to identify postpartum depression in primary healthcare facilities.
  9. The importance of in-person interpretation services during the discharge process in the ED
  10. Strategies to reduce overcrowding in the ED
  11. Factors leading to medical errors in hospitals
  12. Impacts of alarm fatigue on patient safety
  13. Ways hospitals can reduce alarm fatigue
  14. Nurse’s attitudes and perspectives towards workplace incivility
  15. Impacts of digital clinical environments and simulations on nursing skills development
  16. Predictors and triggers of incivility against new nurses
  17. The impacts of using drug round tabards on medical errors
  18. Should nurses wear “Do-NOT-Disturb” Tabards during medical rounds?
  19. Incentives to improve Nursing staff retention
  20. Factors leading to nurse burnout
  21. Importance of nursing theories in nursing practice
  22. How non-nursing or borrowed theories impact nursing practice
  23. Benefits of conducting a windshield survey in nursing
  24. The Status of State Medicaid Expansion in the USA
  25. The history of healthcare reforms in the USA
  26. Benefits of continuing education as a nurse
  27. Health promotion campaigns to improve immunization among minority groups in the USA
  28. Role of nurses in patient education
  29. Benefits of transcultural nursing
  30. Why nurses should adopt charismatic leadership
  31. Strategies to improve communication among nursing staff
  32. Role of psychiatric nurses in interprofessional teams
  33. Benefits of interprofessional teams in clinical settings
  34. Benefits of electronic health records in clinical settings
  35. Factors influencing the integration of healthcare systems
  36. Benefits of integrating healthcare systems
  37. Ethical challenges that nurses face in their day-to-day operations
  38. Qualities of a good nurse
  39. Role of nurses in planning and implementing healthcare programs

Many other topics can make for a good topic for your annotated bibliography. If it is healthcare, medicine, biology, or nursing related, go for it. Check out our list of topics in these articles:

Before you close this page …

Nursing school has many assignments that involve in-depth research. Although taken lightly, an annotated bibliography on a specific nursing topic does more than earn you marks. It trains you to be a critical reader, a skill you need as you advance your nursing career.

Any nursing research topic is sufficient to explore using an annotated bibliography. When assigned such a paper, pay keen attention to the formatting style required to write the paper (APA, MLA, Harvard, ASA, AMA, or Chicago).

We can help you choose a good annotated bibliography topic for your nursing paper, research the articles or sources, and write a perfect piece that addresses everything. We have written many nursing papers and slayed many assignments. Get your fears and doubts out of your mind by placing an order on our website. We promise you 100% original, unique, and untraceable paper.

References

  1. Writing an annotated bibliography for nursing and midwifery students
  2. Basics of annotated bibliography (plus an example)
  3. APA formatting for annotations
  4. Nursing bibliographic databases

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