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Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Presents tips for writing an annotated bibliography

What does an annotated bibliography do?

screenshot of annotated bibliographyAnnotated bibliographies help you organize your sources once you have read through them, and determined it they will work for your paper or not. 

A good annotated bibliography:

  • encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas.
  • proves you have read and understand your sources.
  • establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher.
  • provides a way for others to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research if they read it.

Image adapted from Purdue OWL Annotated Bibliography Samples. 

How to Do an Annotated Bibliography Video

By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to: 

  • Define an annotated bibliography
  • Identify the parts of an annotated bibliography
  • Create an annotated bibliography

Annotated Bibliography Resources

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (bibliography) that includes comments about each source. These comments are called annotations

annotated bibliographyHow to write an annotated bibliography:

  1. Find sources related to your topic. Check with your instructor to confirm which types of sources are acceptable for the assignment.
  2. Critically read and evaluate sources
  3. Create a citation. Be sure to use the style guide your instructor assigns. Common styles include APA, MLA. APSA, ASA, and CSE.
  4. Below the citation write your annotation

An annotation (found below each citation) typically includes*:

  • An evaluation of the work - the value of the evidence, the logic of arguments, etc.
  • A description of the arguments or findings in the source
  • The qualifications/credibility of the author(s) or publishing source
  • How the source will support your argument or thesis

*Check with your instructors to confirm what information they require in an annotation. 

Image adapted from Purdue OWL Annotated Bibliography Samples. 

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