Personal computers, word-processing software, and the Internet can make putting together an annotated bibliography more useful and a lot easier. If you use word-processing software to create your annotated bibliography, you can dramatically simplify the process of creating a “works cited” or “references” page, which is a list of the sources you quote in your research project. All you will have to do is “copy and paste” the citation from the annotated bibliography into your research project—that is, using the functions of your computer and word processing software, “copy” the full citation that you have completed on your annotated bibliography page and “paste” it into the works cited page of your research project.
This same sort of “copy and paste” function also comes in handy when doing research on the web. For example, you can usually copy and paste the citation information from your library’s online database for pieces of evidence you are interested in reading. In most cases, you should be able to “copy and paste” information you find in your library’s online database into a word processing file. Many library databases—both for books and for periodicals—also have a feature that will allow you to email yourself results from a search.
Keep two things in mind about using computers for your annotated bibliographies:
- You will have to reformat whatever information you get from the Internet or your library’s databases in order to meet MLA or APA style.
- Don’t use the copy and paste feature to plagiarize! Simply copying things like abstracts defeats one of the important purposes for writing an annotated bibliography in the first place, and it’s cheating.