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Citing and Writing Guide: Annotated Bibliography

Information on writing and grammar, copyright, and citation styles.

Annotated Bibliography 101


What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

  • A list of citations to books, articles and other resources
  • Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph (known as "the annotation")



Why Should I Write an Annotated Bibliography?

  • The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
  • Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project.  Simply collecting sources can be useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you read the source more carefully and critically.
  • By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you’ll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you’ll then be able to develop your own point of view.


How Do I Write an Annotated Bibliography?

As you're reading, ask yourself:

  • What is the author saying?
  • What point of view or background is the author coming from that might influence what is being said? Thus, what biases do you discern?
  • Is the evidence presented fairly? Is there enough evidence? Does the evidence support the author’s case? Is there counter-evidence that needs to be considered before you automatically buy into the author’s argument?
  • How does this author’s belief compare or contrast with other things you’ve been reading?