What is an annotated bibliography? How do I create one?


What is an annotated bibliography?

A bibliography (also called "References" or "Works Cited") is a list of sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) that are compiled into a list of citations. An annotated bibliography includes additional information beyond the basic citation of each source. This additional information (called an annotation) can be a summary of the source (descriptive annotation) or a critical evaluation/analysis of the source (evaluative annotation).

How do I create an annotated bibliography?

The format you use for the annotated bibliography will depend on your professor's requirements and the style guide you are using for your class. In general, your annotation goes directly under the citation in a new paragraph and it is indented .5 inches from the left. 

For samples of annotations in the MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style, click here.

Here are some tips for summarizing and evaluating a text:

1) When summarizing, be sure to include all the main ideas/arguments of the text in your own words. To do this, set aside the text after you have read it and write down the main points by memory. 

2) When evaluating the source, it can be useful to answer the following questions: Is this information trustworthy? How does this compare with the other sources in the bibliography? Is there an obvious bias or problem with this source? Some professors will also ask you to reflect on how the source has furthered your own understanding of the subject. Does it help/support your thesis? Has this changed how you viewed your topic?

Additional Resources:

The Owl at Purdue: Annotated Bibliographies

MLA Style Center: Annotated Bibliographies

EKU Libraries: APA Style Guide for Annotated Bibliographies

Brandon University- Chicago Manual of Style Annotated Bibliographies

  • Last Updated May 04, 2021
  • Views 28
  • Answered By Patty Hude

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