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What is an Annotated Bibliography


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of books, articles and other sources (the bibliography). Below each citation is a brief description and​ evaluation of the source (this is the annotation).

What is its purpose?

  • Inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of your sources.

  • Help you learn more about your topic through locating and reading and evaluating the current research on your topic

  • It will help you to eventually formulate your thesis. An annotated bibliography gives you an idea of the prevailing perspectives, arguments or theories on your topic, which helps you choose your position.  


The steps to creating an annotated bibliography

  1. Formulate your search

  2. Find sources

  3. Evaluate what you find

  4. Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

  5. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how you plan to use this work.

Annotated Bibliography Example

The citation (formatted in this example with the Chicago Manual of Style) is followed by the annotation which includes a brief summary and evaluation of the source.


example of an annotated bibliography pointing to the citation and annotation