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ENGL Special Topics DuBois - Dr. King

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Why make an annotated bibliography?

Creating an annotated bibliography involves gathering the most important sources of information about one's topic. These sources can be used later as evidence to support an argument or analysis of a larger research project, like a research essay.


What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of high-quality sources that you have found about your topic. The list contains sources such as books, articles, and documents that you have found about your research topic.

  • Each source is cited using a citation style (for example MLA, APA, Chicago, etc).
  • Each cited source in the list is followed by a brief "annotation" (usually about 150 words) that is a descriptive and evaluative paragraph.
  • Write annotations with your audience in mind; remember, the purpose of the annotation is partly to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Another purpose is to remind the researcher (you) how you might use the source to support your thesis in a larger, related research project.

Annotations are not abstracts

  • An abstract simply summarizes or describes a source. 
  • An annotation is a paragraph of text that summarizes a source but goes a step further to critically evaluate the source's content by discussing its scope, relevance, strengths and/or weaknesses.