Annotated Bibliographies

definitions of bibliography, annotation, and annotated bibliographies

Writers often create annotated bibliographies as a part of a research project, as a means of recording their thoughts and deciding which sources to actually use to support the purpose of their research. Some writers include annotated bibliographies at the end of a research paper as a way of offering their insights about the source’s usability to their readers.

Instructors in college often assign annotated bibliographies as a means of helping students think through their source’s quality and appropriateness to their research question or topic.

Although it may take a while to complete the annotated bibliography, the annotations themselves are relatively brief.

Annotations may include three things:

  1. A brief summary of the information in that source.
  2. A brief evaluation of the quality of the source’s information.
  3. A brief evaluation of whether the source is useful for the purpose of the research.

NOTE: Although there is a basic structure to annotated bibliographies that most professors will follow, your professor may require something a little different. Be sure to follow your assignment instructions, as each professor may have expectations that are slightly different.

Seeing a sample annotated bibliography can be a helpful way to get started. Click on the image below to find a sample annotated bibliography written in APA style. In some browsers, you may need to download or save this file to be able to utilize all of its functionality.

A graphic link to the Annotated Bibliography example

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