How to Prepare an Annotated Biography: Tips For Students

Learning the ins and outs of writing can always come in handy when the need to handle any writing task comes up. Biographies are one of the most common forms of writing, and still, many students experience difficulties when preparing one. Although other forms of getting ready for exams are the online test prep, you can find hundreds of companies that provide online preparation services. Students can use those to be ready for a test like the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, in order to be accepted to American colleges and universities, for GRE test prep check the best GRE online prep course to find the most professional tutors to get you ready for the GRE. There are also writing tools for students to get their papers ready.

However, tools might not always be available, and until then, students have to prepare these write-ups on their own. Writing a biography doesn’t just require you to be a skilled writer, but to also have background knowledge of what you are writing about.

When writing an annotated biography, there are several, unique steps always to follow. Following these steps offers you a chance to come up with a concise, easy-to-read, and unique biography. If you are a student and can not figure out what these steps are, then this piece had got you covered.

Steps on How to Write an Annotated Biography

Below, we will take a closer look at the steps involves writing an annotated biography. These steps are basic tasks students can implement while writing an annotated biography to help them prepare the best one.

1.      Understand what an annotated biography is

Getting to understand what an annotated biography is is the first step towards writing one. An annotated biography is considered as an organized list of sources designed to formulate a thesis on a subject. In more detail, annotated biographies help to provide reviews on subjects through references that are summarized at paragraph-length.

As a student, you can look at these biographies as write-ups that offer examples of major sources of information available on a given topic by providing a summary of them. There are two main types of annotated biography. Here is a brief introduction into the concept begins them:

  • Descriptive or Informative

Just as its name implies, a descriptive annotated describes a source. Through its nature, a descriptive annotated biography summarizes why a source should be useful in researching a particular topic. It describes the arguments of the author of the source as well as the conclusions of the author. In other words, this type of annotated biography offers key information on every source you are going to cite.

  • Analytical of Critical

The analytical annotated biography doesn’t just analyze what is being said in a source but looks into the strengths and weaknesses involved.

2.          Select your preferred sources

Your annotated biography is never complete without its list of sources. To complete your annotated biography, you must first pick your sources. Usually, this involves doing research on the topic you are trying to write about. The internet has made researching a lot easier. With this in mind, you just need to search for unique sources that provide quality information materials, ideas, and concise concepts on the topic in question.

After researching, then it is time you make your choices. To select the best sources with the best information, consider looking at the ones that offer the most knowledge that may apply to the topic. Also, to decide which sources should go in the bibliography, you must first familiarize yourself with them.

3.       Review and write on the summary of your sources

Once you have evaluated each source and found each of their impressions and ideas, you can begin writing them down in a straightforward manner. After doing that, writing a summary of your sources comes next. Although writing a summarized paragraph for your source can be difficult, you still need to do so as this as every annotated biography requires one to make more sense. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

  • Write one or two sentences that provide a basic description of the topic discussed by the source
  • Introduce the thesis of the assignment
  • Provide a sentence that explains the type of sources applied as well as the methodology the author of the source used
  • Write one or two sentences that help to explain the source’s relevance with the topic, and how helpful and useful it will be.

4.       Choose the citation style

To provide your biography with a citation style, you can make use of either the MLA or the APA citation style. Using either of them solely depends on what your instructor prefers. So, to be sure of what citation styles your annotated biography would need, make sure to check in with your instructor. However, if you are confused about what citation styles mean, you should know that a citation style is a set of rules on how writers should cite their sources in write-ups.


Learning to write efficiently takes a while. But with the right steps taken, the pace of things can be quickened. The above are the top steps to follow when you need to write an annotated biography. By starting with these techniques, preparing more biographies like this will no longer be a problem. And while writing, ensure you avoid the various types of plagiarism in your work.

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