Generate accurate MLA citations for free
The Scribbr Citation Generator will automatically create a flawless MLA citation
- Knowledge Base
- How to create an MLA style annotated bibliography
MLA Style Annotated Bibliography | Format & Examples
Published on July 13, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on June 14, 2022.
An annotated bibliography is a special assignment that lists sources in a way similar to the MLA Works Cited list, but providing an annotation for each source giving extra information.
You might be assigned an annotated bibliography as part of the research process for a paper , or as an individual assignment.
MLA provides guidelines for writing and formatting your annotated bibliography. An example of a typical annotation is shown below.
Kenny, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy: In Four Parts . Oxford UP, 2010.
You can create and manage your annotated bibliography with Scribbr’s free MLA Citation Generator. Choose your source type, retrieve the details, and click “Add annotation.”
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Table of contents, mla format for annotated bibliographies, length and content of annotations, frequently asked questions about annotated bibliographies.
The list should be titled either “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.” You may be told which title to use; “bibliography” is normally used for a list that also includes sources you didn’t cite in your paper or that isn’t connected to a paper at all.
Sources are usually organized alphabetically , like in a normal Works Cited list, but can instead be organized chronologically or by subject depending on the purpose of the assignment.
The source information is presented and formatted in the same way as in a normal Works Cited entry:
- 0.5 inch hanging indent
The annotation follows on the next line, also double-spaced and left-aligned. The whole annotation is indented 1 inch from the left margin to distinguish it from the 0.5 inch hanging indent of the source entry.
- If the annotation is only one paragraph long, there’s no additional indent for the start of the paragraph.
- If there are two or more paragraphs, indent the first line of each paragraph , including the first, an additional half-inch (so those lines are indented 1.5 inches in total).
MLA gives some guidelines for writing the annotations themselves. They cover how concise you need to be and what exactly you should write about your sources.
Phrases or full sentences?
MLA states that it’s acceptable to use concise phrases rather than grammatically complete sentences in your annotations.
While you shouldn’t write this way in your main text, it’s acceptable in annotations because the subject of the phrase is clear from the context. It’s also fine to use full sentences instead, if you prefer.
- Broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day.
- Kenny presents a broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day.
Always use full sentences if your instructor requires you to do so, though.
How many paragraphs?
MLA states that annotations usually aim to be concise and thus are only one paragraph long. However, it’s acceptable to write multiple-paragraph annotations if you need to.
If in doubt, aim to keep your annotations short, but use multiple paragraphs if longer annotations are required for your assignment.
Descriptive, evaluative, or reflective annotations?
MLA states that annotations can describe or evaluate sources, or do both. They shouldn’t go into too much depth quoting or discussing minor details from the source, but aim to write about it in broad terms.
You’ll usually write either descriptive , evaluative , or reflective annotations . If you’re not sure what kind of annotations you need, consult your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor.
Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services
Discover proofreading & editing
An annotated bibliography is an assignment where you collect sources on a specific topic and write an annotation for each source. An annotation is a short text that describes and sometimes evaluates the source.
Any credible sources on your topic can be included in an annotated bibliography . The exact sources you cover will vary depending on the assignment, but you should usually focus on collecting journal articles and scholarly books . When in doubt, utilize the CRAAP test !
Each annotation in an annotated bibliography is usually between 50 and 200 words long. Longer annotations may be divided into paragraphs .
The content of the annotation varies according to your assignment. An annotation can be descriptive, meaning it just describes the source objectively; evaluative, meaning it assesses its usefulness; or reflective, meaning it explains how the source will be used in your own research .
No, in an MLA annotated bibliography , you can write short phrases instead of full sentences to keep your annotations concise. You can still choose to use full sentences instead, though.
Use full sentences in your annotations if your instructor requires you to, and always use full sentences in the main text of your paper .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2022, June 14). MLA Style Annotated Bibliography | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/mla-annotated-bibliography/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, what is an annotated bibliography | examples & format, how to format your mla works cited page, mla format for academic papers and essays, what is your plagiarism score.
- How to Cite
- Language & Lit
- Rhyme & Rhythm
- The Rewrite
- Search Glass
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography for Websites
While a bibliography is just a list of sources used when researching a topic, an annotated bibliography adds a summary and evaluation of each source, such as a description of the intended audience and the benefit of the source to your own research. Annotated bibliographies of web sources can be particularly useful because of the myriad of pages associated with one website. The bibliography will steer you back to the page you sourced, and the annotation will remind you what information you gathered from that page. Annotated bibliographies begin with the bibliographic citation, followed by your annotation.
Modern Language Association (MLA) Style
In MLA style, cite the author’s name, article or page name, title of the website, version numbers, publisher information and the date you accessed the site . MLA style does not require URLs in bibliographic citations, but for an annotated bibliography, you might want to include it so you can easily find the site again.
“Definition and Quotes about Music Therapy.” American Music Therapy Association . AMTA, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. http://www.musictherapy.org/about/quotes/ .
There is no author for this page, so the citation begins with the page’s title, which is written in quotation marks. The website name is italicized, and the publisher’s name follows. The abbreviation “n.d.” stands for no date, as the site does not list a publication date. The date accessed goes in day-month-year format. The URL is encased in angle brackets, and there is a period at the end.
To add the annotation, drop down two lines after your bibliographic citation. Write your annotation in paragraph form . MLA style requires text to be double spaced . Keep the entire paragraph indented , so your paragraphs are flush with the hanging indent in your second and any subsequent lines in your bibliography; only the first line of your bibliography is fully to the left margin of the paper. Drop down an extra line between paragraphs in your annotation.
American Psychological Association (APA) Style
In APA style, cite web sources as follows:
Bonn, S. A. (2014). How to tell a sociopath from a psychopath. Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wicked-deeds/201401/how-tell-sociopath-psychopath
Notice there are no brackets around the URL. If this page didn’t have an author, the title of the article would be the first component of the bibliography. Since an article is a common format, you do not need a format description bracket. If, however, the page is a blog post or lecture notes, for example, you should indicate that in brackets after the title.
Drop down two lines after your bibliographic citation and begin your annotation. APA style also dictates double-spacing to be maintained throughout the annotation. Keep the entire paragraph indented to be flush with your hanging indent, and don't add an extra indentation to the first line of the paragraph. Separate the annotation into paragraphs for each section, such as a separate paragraph for the summary and another paragraph for the evaluation. Your annotation can be up to three paragraphs.
Chicago Manual Style (CMS)
Like APA, CMS requires the inclusion of URLs in the bibliographic citation.
Bowley, Graham. “Art Sales on the Rise.” The New York Times , March 11 2015. Accessed March 11, 2015. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/art-sales-on-the-rise/?_r=0
This citation includes both the date of the article and the date you accessed the website. The citation for a webpage that isn’t an article is very similar; it includes the name of the page in place of the author’s name, the title of the page in quotation marks, the date accessed and the URL.
Drop down two lines after your citation and begin writing your annotation, which follows the same indentation as APA and MLA styles . Do not italicize or add extra indentations. Your annotation could be just one paragraph, or it could be up to three paragraphs, separated by sections -- summary, evaluation, and usefulness to your research.
Harvard style requires URL and date accessed information in your bibliographic citation. The information you include varies, depending on what kind of website you cite.
For example, to cite a blog post like this:
Hibnick, E 2015, Lawyers moonlighting as entrepreneurs. 14 February 2015. The Law Insider . Available from: http://www.thelawinsider.com/media/lawyers-moonlighting-entrepreneurs/ [10 March 2015].
Harvard style puts the website in angle brackets and ends the citation with a period.
Harvard style differs from the other guides, requiring single-spacing within a paragraph. You should still add a double space after your citation, followed by your single-spaced paragraphs. Keep your indentation flush to the left, and add a double space in between paragraphs. As with the other styles, your annotation can be up to three paragraphs.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Annotated Bibliographies
- Clark College: Annotated Bibliography: Tips for Writing
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: Annotated Bibliography Samples
- APA Style Blog: How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style
- Chicago Manual of Style Online: Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide
- Citations Made Simple: A Student's Guide to Easy Referencing, Volume II: The Harvard Format; Joanne M. Weselby; 2014
Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.
Ask a Librarian
- About the Library
- UMGC Library
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography - APA Style (7th Edition)
What is an annotation, how is an annotation different from an abstract, what is an annotated bibliography, types of annotated bibliographies, descriptive or informative, analytical or critical, to get started.
An annotation is more than just a brief summary of an article, book, web site, or other type of publication. An annotation should give enough information to make a reader decide whether to read the complete work. In other words, if the reader were exploring the same topic as you, is this material useful and if so, why?
While an abstract also summarizes an article, book, web site, or other type of publication, it is purely descriptive. Although annotations can be descriptive, they also include distinctive features about an item. Annotations can be evaluative and critical as we will see when we look at the two major types of annotations.
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources (like a reference list). It differs from a straightforward bibliography in that each reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation, usually 100–200 words in length.
Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibliography might have different purposes:
- Provide a literature review on a particular subject
- Help to formulate a thesis on a subject
- Demonstrate the research you have performed on a particular subject
- Provide examples of major sources of information available on a topic
- Describe items that other researchers may find of interest on a topic
There are two major types of annotated bibliographies:
A descriptive or informative annotated bibliography describes or summarizes a source as does an abstract; it describes why the source is useful for researching a particular topic or question and its distinctive features. In addition, it describes the author's main arguments and conclusions without evaluating what the author says or concludes.
McKinnon, A. (2019). Lessons learned in year one of business. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting , 30 (4), 26–28. This article describes some of the difficulties many nurses experience when transitioning from nursing to a legal nurse consulting business. Pointing out issues of work-life balance, as well as the differences of working for someone else versus working for yourself, the author offers their personal experience as a learning tool. The process of becoming an entrepreneur is not often discussed in relation to nursing, and rarely delves into only the first year of starting a new business. Time management, maintaining an existing job, decision-making, and knowing yourself in order to market yourself are discussed with some detail. The author goes on to describe how important both the nursing professional community will be to a new business, and the importance of mentorship as both the mentee and mentor in individual success that can be found through professional connections. The article’s focus on practical advice for nurses seeking to start their own business does not detract from the advice about universal struggles of entrepreneurship makes this an article of interest to a wide-ranging audience.
An analytical or critical annotation not only summarizes the material, it analyzes what is being said. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of what is presented as well as describing the applicability of the author's conclusions to the research being conducted.
Analytical or critical annotations will most likely be required when writing for a college-level course.
McKinnon, A. (2019). Lessons learned in year one of business. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting , 30 (4), 26–28. This article describes some of the difficulty many nurses experience when transitioning from nursing to a nurse consulting business. While the article focuses on issues of work-life balance, the differences of working for someone else versus working for yourself, marketing, and other business issues the author’s offer of only their personal experience is brief with few or no alternative solutions provided. There is no mention throughout the article of making use of other research about starting a new business and being successful. While relying on the anecdotal advice for their list of issues, the author does reference other business resources such as the Small Business Administration to help with business planning and professional organizations that can help with mentorships. The article is a good resource for those wanting to start their own legal nurse consulting business, a good first advice article even. However, entrepreneurs should also use more business research studies focused on starting a new business, with strategies against known or expected pitfalls and issues new businesses face, and for help on topics the author did not touch in this abbreviated list of lessons learned.
Now you are ready to begin writing your own annotated bibliography.
- Choose your sources - Before writing your annotated bibliography, you must choose your sources. This involves doing research much like for any other project. Locate records to materials that may apply to your topic.
- Review the items - Then review the actual items and choose those that provide a wide variety of perspectives on your topic. Article abstracts are helpful in this process.
- The purpose of the work
- A summary of its content
- Information about the author(s)
- For what type of audience the work is written
- Its relevance to the topic
- Any special or unique features about the material
- Research methodology
- The strengths, weaknesses or biases in the material
Annotated bibliographies may be arranged alphabetically or chronologically, check with your instructor to see what he or she prefers.
Please see the APA Examples page for more information on citing in APA style.
E-Mail Us | 240-684-2020 855-655-8682, opt. 7, x22020
E-Mail Us | 240-684-2020 ( Hours )
What is 24/7 Library Chat?
Have a comment?
- Last Updated: Dec 2, 2022 11:28 AM
- URL: https://libguides.umgc.edu/annotated-bibliography-apa
Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
Annotated Bibliography Samples
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.
Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations.
Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.
Sample MLA Annotation
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . Anchor Books, 1995.
Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic.
In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.
Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.
In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.
For information on formatting MLA citations, see our MLA 9th Edition (2021) Formatting and Style Guide .
Sample APA Annotation
Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America . Henry Holt and Company.
In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.
The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.
For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide .
Sample Chicago Manual of Style Annotation
Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess . London: Routledge, 1998.
Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.
This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.
For information on formatting Chicago Style citations, see our Chicago Manual of Style resources.
- Plagiarism and grammar
- School access
The best papers start with EasyBib®
Start a new citation or manage your existing projects.
Scan your paper for plagiarism and grammar errors.
Check your paper for grammar and plagiarism
Catch plagiarism and grammar mistakes with our paper checker
Wipe out writing errors with EasyBib® Plus
Double check for plagiarism mistakes and advanced grammar errors before you turn in your paper.
- expert check
Know you're citing correctly
No matter what citation style you're using (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) we'll help you create the right bibliography
Check for unintentional plagiarism
Scan your paper the way your teacher would to catch unintentional plagiarism. Then, easily add the right citation
Strengthen your writing
Give your paper an in-depth check. Receive feedback within 24 hours from writing experts on your paper's main idea, structure, conclusion, and more.
Find and fix grammar errors
Don't give up sweet paper points for small mistakes. Our algorithms flag grammar and writing issues and provide smart suggestions
Choose your online writing help
Easybib® guides & resources, mla format guide.
This is the total package when it comes to MLA format. Our easy to read guides come complete with examples and step-by-step instructions to format your full and in-text citations, paper, and works cited in MLA style. There’s even information on annotated bibliographies.
Works Cited | In-Text Citations | Bibliography | Annotated Bibliography | Website | Book | Journal | YouTube | View all MLA Citation Examples
APA Format Guide
Get the facts on citing and writing in APA format with our comprehensive guides. Formatting instructions, in-text citation and reference examples, and sample papers provide you with the tools you need to style your paper in APA.
Reference Page | In-Text Citations | Annotated Bibliography | Website | Books | Journal | YouTube | View all APA citation Examples
Chicago Format Guide
Looking to format your paper in Chicago style and not sure where to start? Our guide provides everything you need! Learn the basics and fundamentals to creating references and footnotes in Chicago format. With numerous examples and visuals, you’ll be citing in Chicago style in no time.
Footnotes | Website | Book | Journal
Harvard Referencing Guide
Learn the requirements to properly reference your paper in Harvard style. The guides we have provide the basics and fundamentals to give credit to the sources used in your work.
In-Text Citations | Books | Article | YouTube | View all Harvard Referencing Examples
Check Your Paper
Avoid common grammar mistakes and unintentional plagiarism with our essay checker. Receive personalized feedback to help identify citations that may be missing, and help improve your sentence structure, punctuation, and more to turn in an error-free paper.
Grammar Check | Plagiarism Checker | Spell Check
Learn From Our Innovative Blog
Our blog features current and innovative topics to keep you up to speed on citing and writing. Whether you’re an educator, student, or someone who lives and breathes citations (it’s not as uncommon as you might think!), our blog features new and exciting articles to discover and learn from.
Looking for Other Tools and Resources?
Our Writing Center is jam-packed with tons of exciting resources. Videos, infographics, research guides, and many other citation-related resources are found here. Check it out to find what you need to succeed!
- EasyBib® Plus
- Citation Guides
- Chicago Style Format
- Cookie Notice
- DO NOT SELL MY INFO
- Citation Generator
- Style Guides
- Chicago/Turabian Format
Annotated Bibliography Examples & Step-by-Step Writing Guide
An annotated bibliography is a unique form of bibliography providing a short summary or analysis of sources. While creating an annotated bibliography shouldn’t be stressful, many students might find the process hard. Keep it simple by using this step-by-step annotated bibliography guide for perfect annotations in any style.
Table of Contents
- What Is an Annotated Bibliography
- How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
Annotated Bibliography Examples
- Use an Annotated Bibliography Generator
- Abstract vs. Annotations vs. Literature Review
What Is an Annotated Bibliography?
So, the big question in everyone’s minds is, what is an annotated bibliography? An annotated bibliography is a list of citations followed by a brief summary or analysis of your sources, aka annotations. The annotation gives information about the relevance and quality of the sources you cited through a 150-250 word description or interpretation of the source.
Why Write Annotations?
One of the main questions students have is what the purpose of an annotation is. Surprise, it’s not just for your teacher. Annotations help you, too. Many times, you create your reference list as you begin researching your topic. Since you summarize the source in an annotated bibliography, you start to delve into the topic more critically to collect the information for your annotations. This helps you better understand the subject and sources to help you create your thesis .
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Step-by-Step
The creation of an annotated bibliography is a three-step process. It starts with evaluating sources to find the ones that will genuinely make your paper shine. You’ll then begin writing your annotation for each different source. The final step is to choose your citation style. Now that you know the three-step process, let’s check out each step in turn.
Step 1: Analysis of Sources
When it comes to an annotated bibliography, you have to critically look at your topic’s sources and research. Therefore, you need to look at the author’s qualifications and credentials, along with the date of the study itself. Since new thoughts and literary movements are happening all the time, you want to make sure the analysis and opinions you use are relevant to your topic and current times.
In addition to the author, make sure the publisher or journal where you found the research is distinguished and reviewed by professionals in the field. Research by an unknown or unreputable journal will not make a good source for your arguments or analysis. Other areas you’ll want to be aware of include:
- The intended audience
- Omissions of facts
- Opinions presented as truths
Critically analyzing all these different areas helps you evaluate if a source is credible , helpful to your project or research, and works to answer your thesis.
Step 2: Create Your Annotations
Now that you’ve used your critical academic eye to dive deep into your sources, it’s time to create annotations for them. Annotations aren’t one size fits all. Therefore, there are different ways you can create them, depending on your intent. You might choose to use descriptive, summary, or evaluation in your annotations or a combination of all three. Just remember to always include what your instructor asks for.
Descriptive or indicative annotations do just what they say. They describe the source. Indicative annotations give you a quick summary of the source and argument and describe the main points and even chapters within the source. See how this indicative annotation example in MLA works.
Zachs, Mitch. The Little Book of Stock Market Profits . John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
This book covers a wide variety of strategies used in the stock market throughout the years to improve performance. Insightful chapters within the text include “Understanding the Markets,” “Using Profits to Achieve Your Elusive Goals,” and “The Challenge of Investing.”
Summary annotations simply provide a summary of your different sources. Within them, you describe the main arguments or points along with the various topics covered. This is where you show why this source was essential and made it to your list. See an example of informative annotations at play.
Doerr, John. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs . Penguin. 2018.
This book is written by Doerr, who is the chair of a venture capitalist group. The book describes how a business organization can use OKRs to drive a company’s focus through agility, which leads to explosive growth. These are first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies narrated by leaders like Bill Gates. This book helps guide understanding of the business management strategies that drive the success of large companies.
Your annotations might stop at summarizing, or you could take it a step further by evaluating the source. To do this, you want to compare and contrast it. Why did this one make the cut? Explain the overarching goal of the source and why it fits into your paper so well. Additionally, you want to look at the reliability of the information and any bias it might have. Dig deep into your source like in this example.
Wilson, John Philip. When the Texans Come: Missing Records from the Civil War in the Southwest. UNM Press, 2001.
Through primary resources like original letters, song lyrics, and casualty lists, the author, a historian-archeologist, provides a fresh narrative of the Civil War. The author dissects primary sources like witness testimony and original newspaper accounts to clearly understand the battles fought within the Civil War. It not only takes you through the major battles but the minor ones happening in the west to provide you a clear picture of the war. While it’s interesting to see the war through fresh eyes, it lacks in some areas due to its overarching look at the entirety of the war.
Annotations don’t have to just follow one specific format. You can combine all three types of annotations into your annotated bibliography. For example, you might spend a few lines describing and summarizing the work and end with an evaluation.
Writing Style for Annotations
Just like there are different types of annotations you can create, you can also use different writing styles. Annotations typically follow three specific formats depending on how long they are.
- Phrases – Short phrases providing the information in a quick, concise manner.
- Sentences – Write out complete sentences with proper punctuation and grammar. Be sure to keep sentences short and concise.
- Paragraphs – Longer annotations also break the information out into different paragraphs. This can be very effective for combination annotations.
Step 3: Annotated Bibliography Format
All annotated bibliographies have a title, annotation, and citation. While the annotation is the same for all, the way you create your title and citation varies based on your style. The three main bibliography styles used include MLA, APA, and Chicago.
Get examples of an annotated bibliography in each different style. Find a quick overview of when to use APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.
An APA annotated bibliography is used for science and technical papers. It includes an APA citation and APA formatting for headers and title.
An MLA annotated bibliography is the go-to style of high school and college students for language arts and humanities papers. This style uses MLA style citations and formatting like the surname and page number header.
Chicago style annotated bibliographies are a catch-all type of style with author-date and notes-bibliography citations. The citation used in Chicago style can vary by style, but the annotation remains the same.
How to Use an Annotated Bibliography Generator
When it comes to creating your annotated bibliography, you can use the annotated bibliography generator at Bibliography.com to make things easier. Get a step-by-step overview on how to create an annotated bibliography using Bibliography.com.
Creating your annotated bibliography through Bibliography.com’s annotation generator is as simple as that.
Difference Between Abstract, Annotation, and Literature Review
The difference between an abstract, literature review, and annotated bibliography can get a bit fuzzy, especially if you are new to the academic writing game. You know an annotation is a brief synopsis of your source. Explore how that differs from an abstract and a literature review.
What Is a Literature Review?
Like an annotated bibliography, literature reviews can be full papers, in their own right, or they can be incorporated into a school paper. Their purpose is to review and tie together previously published research to bolster a writer’s own thesis. The literature review also suggests ways to move the research forward or identifies gaps in the existing literature. Preparing a literature review helps students learn how to find and critically evaluate sources.
Purpose of an Abstract
The difference between an abstract and an annotated bibliography is abstracts are included as part of research papers. Their purpose is to inform an interested researcher about the topic, problem, methodology, findings, and conclusion of the research. This abstract helps students understand whether this source is a good one for their own school paper.
An abstract is written as a summary rather than to serve an evaluative purpose. No added material, such as explanations or further reading, are included in abstracts—usually, an abstract runs between 150 to 250 words. If you’re using APA style to format your research paper, you may need to include an abstract on the page following the title page.
Now that you know the difference between an abstract, annotated bibliography, and literature review, you have all the skills needed to create a perfect annotated bibliography.
Creating an Annotated Bibliography
Creating an annotated bibliography takes more work, but it can make you a better researcher. Just follow the steps for creating annotations and citations per your professor, and you’re ready for that A. Interested in learning more about research papers? Why not check out how to insert citations in Word quickly .
FAQ Annotated Bibliography Writing Guide With Examples
How do you write an annotated bibliography.
To write an annotated bibliography, you need to evaluate your source then write a summary, evaluation, or reflection of the source. Once your annotation is complete, you will create a citation for the source using the rules for APA, MLA, or Chicago style.
What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography?
The three different parts of an annotated bibliography include the title, annotation, and citation. The title and citation format will vary based on the style you use. The annotation can include a summary, evaluation, or reflection.
How long is an annotated bibliography?
The length of an annotated bibliography can vary from about 150-250 words. However, some annotations can be shorter for the Chicago style.
What should an annotated bibliography look like?
The look of an annotated bibliography includes a title, citations, and annotation. Each source has a citation and annotation throughout the entire annotated bibliography to provide an overview of the relevance of your sources for your teacher.
What are 3 types of annotations?
The 3 types of annotation include descriptive, summary, and evaluation. You can choose to use one of these or all three in your annotations for your bibliography.
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 170
No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Writing a Letter in MLA, APA or Chicago Style
Footnote referencing styles, setting up dictionary citations for your essay, tips on citing a poem in mla style.
What this handout is about.
This handout will explain why annotated bibliographies are useful for researchers, provide an explanation of what constitutes an annotation, describe various types of annotations and styles for writing them, and offer multiple examples of annotated bibliographies in the MLA, APA, and CBE/CSE styles of citation.
Welcome to the wonderful world of annotated bibliographies! You’re probably already familiar with the need to provide bibliographies, reference pages, and works cited lists to credit your sources when you do a research paper. An annotated bibliography includes descriptions and explanations of your listed sources beyond the basic citation information you usually provide.
Why do an annotated bibliography?
One of the reasons behind citing sources and compiling a general bibliography is so that you can prove you have done some valid research to back up your argument and claims. Readers can refer to a citation in your bibliography and then go look up the material themselves. When inspired by your text or your argument, interested researchers can access your resources. They may wish to double check a claim or interpretation you’ve made, or they may simply wish to continue researching according to their interests. But think about it: even though a bibliography provides a list of research sources of all types that includes publishing information, how much does that really tell a researcher or reader about the sources themselves?
An annotated bibliography provides specific information about each source you have used. As a researcher, you have become an expert on your topic: you have the ability to explain the content of your sources, assess their usefulness, and share this information with others who may be less familiar with them. Think of your paper as part of a conversation with people interested in the same things you are; the annotated bibliography allows you to tell readers what to check out, what might be worth checking out in some situations, and what might not be worth spending the time on. It’s kind of like providing a list of good movies for your classmates to watch and then going over the list with them, telling them why this movie is better than that one or why one student in your class might like a particular movie better than another student would. You want to give your audience enough information to understand basically what the movies are about and to make an informed decision about where to spend their money based on their interests.
What does an annotated bibliography do?
A good annotated bibliography:
- encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas.
- proves you have read and understand your sources.
- establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher.
- situates your study and topic in a continuing professional conversation.
- provides a way for others to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research if they read it.
- could help interested researchers determine whether they are interested in a topic by providing background information and an idea of the kind of work going on in a field.
What elements might an annotation include?
- Bibliography according to the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, CBE/CSE, etc.).
- Explanation of main points and/or purpose of the work—basically, its thesis—which shows among other things that you have read and thoroughly understand the source.
- Verification or critique of the authority or qualifications of the author.
- Comments on the worth, effectiveness, and usefulness of the work in terms of both the topic being researched and/or your own research project.
- The point of view or perspective from which the work was written. For instance, you may note whether the author seemed to have particular biases or was trying to reach a particular audience.
- Relevant links to other work done in the area, like related sources, possibly including a comparison with some of those already on your list. You may want to establish connections to other aspects of the same argument or opposing views.
The first four elements above are usually a necessary part of the annotated bibliography. Points 5 and 6 may involve a little more analysis of the source, but you may include them in other kinds of annotations besides evaluative ones. Depending on the type of annotation you use, which this handout will address in the next section, there may be additional kinds of information that you will need to include.
For more extensive research papers (probably ten pages or more), you often see resource materials grouped into sub-headed sections based on content, but this probably will not be necessary for the kinds of assignments you’ll be working on. For longer papers, ask your instructor about her preferences concerning annotated bibliographies.
Did you know that annotations have categories and styles?
As you go through this handout, you’ll see that, before you start, you’ll need to make several decisions about your annotations: citation format, type of annotation, and writing style for the annotation.
First of all, you’ll need to decide which kind of citation format is appropriate to the paper and its sources, for instance, MLA or APA. This may influence the format of the annotations and bibliography. Typically, bibliographies should be double-spaced and use normal margins (you may want to check with your instructor, since he may have a different style he wants you to follow).
MLA (Modern Language Association)
See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic MLA bibliography formatting and rules.
- MLA documentation is generally used for disciplines in the humanities, such as English, languages, film, and cultural studies or other theoretical studies. These annotations are often summary or analytical annotations.
- Title your annotated bibliography “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
- Following MLA format, use a hanging indent for your bibliographic information. This means the first line is not indented and all the other lines are indented four spaces (you may ask your instructor if it’s okay to tab over instead of using four spaces).
- Begin your annotation immediately after the bibliographic information of the source ends; don’t skip a line down unless you have been told to do so by your instructor.
APA (American Psychological Association)
See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic APA bibliography formatting and rules.
- Natural and social sciences, such as psychology, nursing, sociology, and social work, use APA documentation. It is also used in economics, business, and criminology. These annotations are often succinct summaries.
- Annotated bibliographies for APA format do not require a special title. Use the usual “References” designation.
- Like MLA, APA uses a hanging indent: the first line is set flush with the left margin, and all other lines are indented four spaces (you may ask your instructor if it’s okay to tab over instead of using four spaces).
- After the bibliographic citation, drop down to the next line to begin the annotation, but don’t skip an extra line.
- The entire annotation is indented an additional two spaces, so that means each of its lines will be six spaces from the margin (if your instructor has said that it’s okay to tab over instead of using the four spaces rule, indent the annotation two more spaces in from that point).
CBE (Council of Biology Editors)/CSE (Council of Science Editors)
See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic CBE/CSE bibliography formatting and rules.
- CBE/CSE documentation is used by the plant sciences, zoology, microbiology, and many of the medical sciences.
- Annotated bibliographies for CBE/CSE format do not require a special title. Use the usual “References,” “Cited References,” or “Literature Cited,” and set it flush with the left margin.
- Bibliographies for CSE in general are in a slightly smaller font than the rest of the paper.
- When using the name-year system, as in MLA and APA, the first line of each entry is set flush with the left margin, and all subsequent lines, including the annotation, are indented three or four spaces.
- When using the citation-sequence method, each entry begins two spaces after the number, and every line, including the annotation, will be indented to match the beginning of the entry, or may be slightly further indented, as in the case of journals.
- After the bibliographic citation, drop down to the next line to begin the annotation, but don’t skip an extra line. The entire annotation follows the indentation of the bibliographic entry, whether it’s N-Y or C-S format.
- Annotations in CBE/CSE are generally a smaller font size than the rest of the bibliographic information.
After choosing a documentation format, you’ll choose from a variety of annotation categories presented in the following section. Each type of annotation highlights a particular approach to presenting a source to a reader. For instance, an annotation could provide a summary of the source only, or it could also provide some additional evaluation of that material.
In addition to making choices related to the content of the annotation, you’ll also need to choose a style of writing—for instance, telescopic versus paragraph form. Your writing style isn’t dictated by the content of your annotation. Writing style simply refers to the way you’ve chosen to convey written information. A discussion of writing style follows the section on annotation types.
Types of annotations
As you now know, one annotation does not fit all purposes! There are different kinds of annotations, depending on what might be most important for your reader to learn about a source. Your assignments will usually make it clear which citation format you need to use, but they may not always specify which type of annotation to employ. In that case, you’ll either need to pick your instructor’s brain a little to see what she wants or use clue words from the assignment itself to make a decision. For instance, the assignment may tell you that your annotative bibliography should give evidence proving an analytical understanding of the sources you’ve used. The word analytical clues you in to the idea that you must evaluate the sources you’re working with and provide some kind of critique.
There are two kinds of summarizing annotations, informative and indicative.
Summarizing annotations in general have a couple of defining features:
- They sum up the content of the source, as a book report might.
- They give an overview of the arguments and proofs/evidence addressed in the work and note the resulting conclusion.
- They do not judge the work they are discussing. Leave that to the critical/evaluative annotations.
- When appropriate, they describe the author’s methodology or approach to material. For instance, you might mention if the source is an ethnography or if the author employs a particular kind of theory.
Informative annotations sometimes read like straight summaries of the source material, but they often spend a little more time summarizing relevant information about the author or the work itself.
Indicative annotation is the second type of summary annotation, but it does not attempt to include actual information from the argument itself. Instead, it gives general information about what kinds of questions or issues are addressed by the work. This sometimes includes the use of chapter titles.
Evaluative annotations don’t just summarize. In addition to tackling the points addressed in summary annotations, evaluative annotations:
- evaluate the source or author critically (biases, lack of evidence, objective, etc.).
- show how the work may or may not be useful for a particular field of study or audience.
- explain how researching this material assisted your own project.
An annotated bibliography may combine elements of all the types. In fact, most of them fall into this category: a little summarizing and describing, a little evaluation.
Ok, next! So what does it mean to use different writing styles as opposed to different kinds of content? Content is what belongs in the annotation, and style is the way you write it up. First, choose which content type you need to compose, and then choose the style you’re going to use to write it
This kind of annotated bibliography is a study in succinctness. It uses a minimalist treatment of both information and sentence structure, without sacrificing clarity. Warning: this kind of writing can be harder than you might think.
Don’t skimp on this kind of annotated bibliography. If your instructor has asked for paragraph form, it likely means that you’ll need to include several elements in the annotation, or that she expects a more in-depth description or evaluation, for instance. Make sure to provide a full paragraph of discussion for each work.
As you can see now, bibliographies and annotations are really a series of organized steps. They require meticulous attention, but in the end, you’ve got an entire testimony to all the research and work you’ve done. At the end of this handout you’ll find examples of informative, indicative, evaluative, combination, telescopic, and paragraph annotated bibliography entries in MLA, APA, and CBE formats. Use these examples as your guide to creating an annotated bibliography that makes you look like the expert you are!
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
American Psychological Association. 2010. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Bell, I. F., and J. Gallup. 1971. A Reference Guide to English, American, and Canadian Literature . Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzburg. 1991. Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing , 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford Books.
Center for Information on Language Teaching, and The English Teaching Information Center of the British Council. 1968. Language-Teaching Bibliography . Cambridge: Cambridge University.
Engle, Michael, Amy Blumenthal, and Tony Cosgrave. 2012. “How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography.” Olin & Uris Libraries. Cornell University. Last updated September 25, 2012. https://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/content/how-prepare-annotated-bibliography.
Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.
Grasso, Michael. 2004. “Speech Recognition Annotated Bibliography” (Website). University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Department of Computer Science. https://www.csee.umbc.edu/~mgrass2/dissert/annbib.html .
Huth, Edward. 1994. Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers . New York: University of Cambridge.
Kilborn, Judith. 2004. “MLA Documentation.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated March 16, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/mla.html.
Spatt, Brenda. 1991. Writing from Sources , 3rd ed. New York: St. Martin’s.
Memorial University. n.d. “How to Write Annotated Bibliographies.” Memorial University Libraries. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.library.mun.ca/researchtools/guides/writing/annotated_bibl/ .
University of Kansas. 2018. “Bibliographies.” KU Writing Center. Last updated April 2018. http://writing.ku.edu/bibliographies .
University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2019. “Annotated Bibliography.” The Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/annotatedbibliography/ .
Make a Gift
Writing an Annotated Bibliography
- Annotated Bibliography Home
- Types of Resources
Essential databases, google scholar.
- Evaluate Sources
- Citing Sources
- Need Help? Ask a Librarian
Keyword Title Author Advanced Search
Or you can narrow down your search by searching one of the library's scholarly databases individually.
- List of All Library Databases Access an A-Z list of all the library's databases.
Google Scholar is another resource for finding research articles. Look on the right hand side of the screen for the "Check MCLA Full-Text " links that will bring you to the article in one of our databases. You can also look for the free PDFs listed on the right hand side. If you are off-campus, use these instructions to set it up for full access to library resources .
- << Previous: Types of Resources
- Next: Evaluate Sources >>
- Last Updated: Oct 17, 2022 2:42 PM
- URL: https://library.mcla.edu/annotatedbib
How to Write a Bibliography, With Examples
You spent the past six hours grinding out your latest paper, but finally, it’s finished. It’s late, you’re exhausted, and all you want to do is click “Submit Assignment” and then get some sleep.
Not so fast. If your paper doesn’t have a properly formatted bibliography, it’s not finished.
A bibliography is a list of all the sources you consulted while writing your paper. Every book, article, and even video you used to gather information for your paper needs to be cited in your bibliography so your instructor (and any others reading your work) can trace the facts, statistics, and insights back to their original sources.
Give your paper extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly
What is the purpose of a bibliography?
A bibliography is the list of sources a work’s author used to create the work. It accompanies just about every type of academic writing , like essays , research papers , and reports . You might also find a brief, less formal bibliography at the end of a journalistic piece, presentation, or video when the author feels it’s necessary to cite their sources . In nearly all academic instances, a bibliography is required. Not including a bibliography (or including an incomplete, incorrect, or falsified bibliography) can be considered an act of plagiarism , which can lead to a failing grade, being dropped from your course or program, and even being suspended or expelled from your school.
A bibliography accomplishes a few things. These include:
- Showing your instructor that you conducted the necessary research for your assignment
- Crediting your sources’ authors for the research they conducted
- Making it easy for anybody who reads your work to find the sources you used and conduct their own research on the same or a similar topic
Additionally, future historians consulting your writing can use your bibliography to identify primary and secondary sources in your research field. Documenting the course information from its original source through later academic works can help researchers understand how that information has been cited and interpreted over time. It can also help them review the information in the face of competing—and possibly contradictory or revisionary—data.
In nearly all cases, a bibliography is found at the end of a book or paper.
What are the different kinds of bibliographies?
Different types of academic works call for different types of bibliographies. For example, your computer science professor might require you to submit an annotated bibliography along with your paper because this type of bibliography explains the why behind each source you chose to consult.
An analytical bibliography documents a work’s journey from manuscript to published book or article. This type of bibliography includes the physical characteristics of each cited source, like each work’s number of pages, type of binding used, and illustrations.
An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes annotations, which are short notes explaining why the author chose each of the sources. Generally a few sentences long, these notes might summarize or reflect on the source.
An annotated bibliography is not the same as a literature review . While a literature review discusses how you conducted your research and how your work fits into the overall body of established research in your field, an annotated bibliography simply explains how each source you used is relevant to your work.
An enumerative bibliography is the most basic type of bibliography. It’s a list of sources used to conduct research, often ordered according to specific characteristics, like alphabetically by authors’ last names or grouped according to topic or language.
Specific types of enumerative bibliographies used for research works include:
A national bibliography groups sources published in a specific region or nation. In many cases, these bibliographies also group works according to the time period during which they were published.
A personal bibliography lists multiple works by the same individual author or group of authors. Often, personal bibliographies include works that would be difficult to find elsewhere, like unpublished works.
In a corporate bibliography, the sources are grouped according to their relation to a specific organization. The sources can be about an organization, published by that organization, or owned by that organization.
Subject bibliographies group works according to the subjects they cover. Generally, these bibliographies list primary and secondary sources, whereas other types of enumerative bibliographies, like personal bibliographies, might not.
Other types of bibliographies
In some cases, it makes sense to use a bibliography format other than those listed here. These include:
This type of bibliography lists works by a single author. With certain assignments, like an essay comparing two of an author’s books, your bibliography is a single-author bibliography by default. In this case, you can choose how to order the sources, such as by publication date or alphabetically by title.
A selected bibliography is a bibliography that only lists some of the sources you consulted. Usually, these are the most important sources for your work. You might write a selected bibliography if you consulted a variety of minor sources that you didn’t end up citing directly in your work. A selected bibliography may also be an annotated bibliography.
How is a bibliography structured?
Although each style guide has its own formatting rules for bibliographies, all bibliographies follow a similar structure. Key points to keep in mind when you’re structuring a bibliography include:
- Every bibliography page has a header. Format this header according to the style guide you’re using.
- Every bibliography has a title, such as “Works Cited,” “References,” or simply “Bibliography.”
- Bibliographies are lists. List your sources alphabetically according to their authors’ last names or their titles—whichever is applicable according to the style guide you’re using. The exception is a single-author bibliography or one that groups sources according to a shared characteristic.
- Bibliographies are double-spaced.
- Bibliographies should be in legible fonts, typically the same font as the papers they accompany.
As noted above, different kinds of assignments require different kinds of bibliographies. For example, you might write an analytical bibliography for your art history paper because this type of bibliography gives you space to discuss how the construction methods used for your sources inform their content and vice-versa. If you aren’t sure which kind of bibliography to write, ask your instructor.
How do you write a bibliography?
The term “bibliography” is a catch-all for any list of sources cited at the end of an academic work. Certain style guides use different terminology to refer to bibliographies. For example, MLA format refers to a paper’s bibliography as its Works Cited page. APA refers to it as the References page. No matter which style guide you’re using, the process for writing a bibliography is generally the same. The primary difference between the different style guides is how the bibliography is formatted.
The first step in writing a bibliography is organizing all the relevant information about the sources you used in your research. Relevant information about a source can vary according to the type of media it is, the type of bibliography you’re writing, and your style guide. Determine which information you need to include about each source by consulting the style guide you’re using. If you aren’t sure what to include, or if you’re not sure which style guide to use, ask your instructor.
The next step is to format your sources according to the style guide you’re using. MLA , APA , and the Chicago Manual of Style are three of the most commonly used style guides in academic writing.
MLA Works Cited page
In MLA format , the bibliography is known as the Works Cited page. MLA is typically used for writing in the humanities, like English and History. Because of this, it includes guidelines for citing sources like plays, videos , and works of visual art —sources you’d find yourself consulting for these courses, but probably not in your science and business courses.
In MLA format, books are cited like this:
If the cited book was published prior to 1900, is from a publisher with offices in multiple countries, or is from a publisher that is largely unknown in the US, include the book’s city of publication. Otherwise, this can be left out.
Scholarly articles are cited in this format:
- Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.
APA References page
In APA format —the format typically used in psychology, nursing, business, and the social sciences—the bibliography page is titled References. This format includes citation instructions for technical papers and data-heavy research, the types of sources you’re likely to consult for academic writing in these fields.
In APA format, books are cited like this:
Digital object identifier (DOI).
(issue number) , article’s page range (i.e., 10-15). URL.
Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) permits authors to format bibliographies in two different ways: the notes and bibliography system and the author-date system. The former is generally used in the humanities, whereas the latter is usually used in the sciences and social sciences.
Both systems include guidelines for citations on a paper’s body pages as well as a bibliographic list that follows the paper. This list is titled Bibliography.
In CMoS, books are cited like this:
number (year published): page numbers of the article (i.e., 10-15).
What is a bibliography.
A bibliography is the list of sources a work’s author used to create the work.
What are the different kinds of bibliographies?
There are many different kinds of bibliographies. These include:
- Enumerative bibliographies
- Annotated bibliographies
- Analytical bibliographies
How do you write a bibliography for different style guides?
Each style guide publishes its bibliography guidelines online. Locate the guidelines for the style guide you’re following ( Chicago Manual of Style , MLA , APA ), and using the examples provided, format and list the sources for your work.
What You Need to Know About Annotated Bibliographies
Powered by chegg.
- Select style:
- Archive material
- Chapter of an edited book
- Conference proceedings
- Dictionary entry
- DVD, video, or film
- E-book or PDF
- Edited book
- Encyclopedia article
- Government publication
- Music or recording
- Online image or video
- Press release
- Religious text
An Introduction to Annotated Bibliographies
What is an annotated bibliography? Annotated bibliographies are aggregated lists of resources that correlate with a research topic. Students and researchers actively seek out exceptional resources about a specific research topic and develop of list of the best resources they’ve found. In addition to information about the source (such as the title, author’s name, publication information, and other identifiable information), writers also include a brief synopsis of each source to provide readers with information about its contents.
Follow the directions below, developed by Cite This For Me, to form a bibliography with annotations.
How to Do an Annotated Bibliography
The act of compiling a bibliography of this type involves:
- Choosing an annotated bibliography topic. Annotated bibliography topics are sometimes chosen by teachers or professors. There are times, however, when educators allow students or researchers to choose their own topics. Choose a topic which interests you to make the assignment more enjoyable to organize and complete.
- Seeking out relevant resources that directly correlate with a research topic
- Creating a citation for each resource. The citation includes the title, author’s name, date of publication, and other identifiable information. Citations can be formatted in MLA format , or another style your teacher or professor recommends.
- Writing a very brief analysis or summary of each source
In many nonfiction books and texts, authors provide readers with a suggested listing of resources for further reading. This is somewhat similar to an annotated bibliography, except a bibliography of this type takes it one step further and includes a brief write-up (about a paragraph long) about each source.
This specific type of bibliography can stand as an individual assignment or it can be one component of a full research project.
Looking for more information? Need a sample annotated bibliography? In need of another annotated bibliography definition? Click here for further reading.
Why Are Annotated Bibliographies Created?
These specific bibliographies are created for numerous reasons. One reason is to encourage students and researchers to become experts on a topic or area of study. It takes quite a bit of effort and time to access, read, and analyze sources related to a research topic. Scouring the wealth of information available promotes understanding and mastery.
They are also assigned to demonstrate, as well as to advance, information literacy skills. Using accurate keywords and subject headings, accessing databases, and analyzing sources are skills that are necessary in the 21st century. Compiling a bibliography of this type promotes these skills and helps students and researchers demonstrate good practices when it comes to information literacy.
Furthermore, these bibliographies can be helpful to others who are researching the same or a similar topic. Since they provide readers with a brief synopsis, or abstract, of each documented source, readers can determine if they can use it for their own tasks. They may find that the information relates to their own research goals and decide to locate and use the source as well, or they may decide to skip it.
What Elements Are Included in An Annotated Bibliography?
If you’re wondering how to write an annotated bibliography, or need an annotated bibliography template, follow these recommended guidelines from Cite This For Me.
Bibliographies include the following items, in this order:
- An introduction: The introduction should be the first item. The introduction should include the research topic, the types of sources included, the process used to locate the sources, and any other information related to the scope of the bibliography. Since the sources are the focus of the assignment, not the introduction, keep this part of the bibliography brief and succinct.
- A list of the sources and their annotations: This is the heart of the bibliography. Each source should have a full reference citation. Use Cite This For Me’s Citation Generator to instantly develop citations and add them to your assignment. The citations can be placed in alphabetical order by the first item in the citation (most likely the author’s name), in order by publication date, or the citations can be broken up into different categories (by subject categories or source types).
Below each citation, add the annotation. The annotation should be a write-up of about one paragraph, summarizing the source or providing a critique that pertains to the research topic.. For an explanation on the different types of annotations, click here for more.
Annotated Bibliography Examples
Below are a variety of examples and samples to help you understand how to make an annotated bibliography. Please note that only a couple annotations are included to provide an idea of the content and structure. If these were to be complete assignments, the bibliographies below would include more sources.
If you’re still asking yourself, “what is an annotated bibliography?” or wondering what to include in an annotated bibliography, check over here.
Annotated Bibliography Example #1: A MLA style bibliography with summary annotations
Topic: Research Habits of Young Children
This bibliography provides insight into the researching habits of young children. The majority of the resources were found using the ERIC database and include a variety of scholarly articles written in the past two years. These journal articles were peer reviewed.
Karalar, Halit, and Sabri Sidekli. “How Do Second Grade Students in Primary Schools Use and Perceive Tablets?” Universal Journal of Educational Research , vol. 5, no. 6, 2017, pp. 965-71. ERIC , doi: 10.13189/ujer.2017.050609.
This case study examined 60+ second graders in Turkey, seeking to determine how digital natives use tablets. Found that students use tablets to play games, search online, complete homework, and watch videos. Students did not use the tablets to read books, listen to music, or take photos. Students prefer playing outside to using tablets.
Knight, Simon, and Neil Mercer. “Collaborative Epistemic Discourse in Classroom Information-Seeking Tasks.” Technology, Pedagogy and Education, vol. 26, no. 1, 2017, pp. 33-50. ERIC, doi: 10.1080/1475939X.2016.1159978.
Focused on a small group of 11-year-olds who performed various tasks and located answers via search engines. Sought to determine if students regularly discuss their information-seeking practices and findings with one another. Authors found that students did discuss their processes, which ultimately resulted in positive learning outcomes.
Annotated Bibliography Example #2: An APA style bibliography with critique annotations
Note that The American Psychological Association does not provide guidelines or promote the development of annotated bibliographies. However, your teacher or professor may have assigned you one in this specific format. Cite This For Me recommends using the format and structure provided in this guide. Use the example of annotated bibliography below for reference as well.
Understanding the researching habits of young children provides educators with the ability to formulate developmentally appropriate research tasks and understand expectations. In addition, current research allows us to gather information about common misconceptions and to work towards changing them.
This bibliography displays a variety of current scholarly journal articles to help understand students’ research habits. The bibliography is organized by the platform studied and discussed in each article: Research on Desktop Computers and Research on Tablets. Since students’ researching habits can change depending on the platform used, it seemed appropriate to organize the bibliography as such.
Research on Computers
Knight, S., & Mercer, N. (2017). Collaborative epistemic discourse in classroom information-seeking tasks. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 26(1), 33-50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2016.1159978
Concluded that student discussion during information-seeking tasks helps with understanding and completing research tasks. Small sample of students (8), which makes results difficult to compare to whole population. Developmentally appropriate search activity for students. Many students stated they looked for “official websites” in order to trust information.
Research on Tablets
Karalar, H., & Sidekli, S. (2017). How do second grade students in primary schools use and perceive tablets? Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(6), 965-971. http://dx.doi.org/10.13189/ujer.2017.050609
Attempts to understand how a small sample of 2nd graders in Turkey use their tablets. As an educator, the format of the open-ended written responses seemed developmentally too difficult. However, it stated in the study that students completed it easily. Findings were not surprising. Fourteen out of 63 students stated they use tablets for searching. One student stated, “It knows whatever I asked,” so it can be assumed that perhaps Siri, or some other type of voice recognition software, was used to type in the search strings or keywords.
Click here for an additional annotated bibliography sample/example of an annotated bibliography. This source also explains how to define annotated bibliography and answers the question, “What are the parts of an annotated bibliography?”
Notice the two annotated bibliography samples found above have different structures. The first bibliography is formatted in alphabetical order by the author’s last names, while the second bibliography is organized into different categories. Both are acceptable. If the bibliography is very long, it may be helpful to organize it into different subject headings or categories.
Researchers and students can also organize their bibliographies in chronological order. This is often done when many of the sources are created by the same person. For example, if writing a bibliography about short stories Mark Twain wrote, it would make sense to organize the bibliography by publication date. For further information on the organization and for an example annotated bibliography, click here to get more info. This site also features an annotation worksheet, which can be used as an annotated bibliography maker.
Here are some additional recommendations from Cite This For Me to help format your annotated bib:
If you are creating the bibliography in MLA:
- Use standard size print or copy paper (8.5 inches x 11 inches). It is not necessary to use a specific finish or texture.
- Double space everything, even the citations.
- Choose a commonly used font. Arial and Times New Roman are both good options. For font size, use 12-point.
- Create a hanging indent for citations. The first line of the citation should align along the left margin. The second line should be indented in half an inch from the left (or use the “Tab” button on your keyboard). Look at the citations above for visual examples.
- Margins should be 1 inch around the perimeter of the paper.
If you are creating the bibliography using APA format:
- Use Times New Roman only. For font size, use 12-point.
Don’t forget, Cite This For Me generates citations in even more styles . Use Cite This For Me’s citation generator to develop your citations in a few easy steps.
An annotated bibliography contains three parts: 1. the title at the top; 2. the bibliographic citation; and 3. the annotation following each citation. Some style formats may also include an introduction to the topic. While the citation provides standard details about the work, the annotation following it is generally summary, analysis, or evaluation. A summary or analysis may also include an evaluation.
The annotated bibliography may be organized alphabetically by authors’ last names, by category, or chronologically.
Elements of an Annotated Bibliography
Title: Annotated Bibliography (centered)
Citation (per APA or MLA or Chicago format)
Annotation (150 to 250 words in summary, analysis, or evaluation)
You should create an annotated bibliography for the following reasons:
- To help you evaluate the credibility, authenticity, and authority of your sources before you start writing your paper
- To help you understand the depth of your topic
- To help you decide if you have enough information on your topic based on your research
- To assess whether your research is adequate or if you need more research to come to a conclusion
These points are discussed in detail below.
Evaluating the credibility, authenticity, and authority of your sources
When you assess a source’s credibility, authenticity, and authority, you become genuinely knowledgeable on whether that source is trustworthy and reliable enough to base your research on. This is of paramount importance when the paper bases its findings on your sources.
Understanding a Topic in Depth
A source can either provide information at a shallow level or at a much deeper level. By creating an annotated bibliography, you can evaluate at what level a resource provides information. Most importantly, the resource enables you to fathom your level of understanding of the subject and transfer that knowledge to future readers of your paper.
Assessing the Need for Further Research
By compiling an annotated bibliography, you can assess if the sourced ideas are enough and relevant or if you need to dig deeper to get more information on your chosen area of focus. While you may get information from all your sources, the ideas and conclusions that you derive from those sources are to be your own. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you to arrive at a final conclusion more easily when you synthesize your ideas and conclusions in a cohesive manner.
How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography
- The Annotated Bibliography
- Fair Use of this Guide
Explanation, Process, Directions, and Examples
What is an annotated bibliography.
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Annotations vs. Abstracts
Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.
First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
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 this work illuminates your bibliography topic.
Critically Appraising the Book, Article, or Document
For guidance in critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see How to Critically Analyze Information Sources . For information on the author's background and views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.
Choosing the Correct Citation Style
Check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class. Online citation guides for both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) styles are linked from the Library's Citation Management page .
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries
The following example uses APA style ( Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th edition, 2019) for the journal citation:
Waite, L., Goldschneider, F., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51 (4), 541-554. The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
This example uses MLA style ( MLA Handbook , 9th edition, 2021) for the journal citation. For additional annotation guidance from MLA, see 5.132: Annotated Bibliographies .
Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554. The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.
Tambíen disponible en español: Cómo Preparar una Bibliografía Anotada
- Next: Fair Use of this Guide >>
- Last Updated: Sep 29, 2022 11:09 AM
- URL: https://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources, each of which is followed by a brief note or “annotation.”
These annotations do one or more of the following:
- describe the content and focus of the book or article
- suggest the source’s usefulness to your research
- evaluate its method, conclusions, or reliability
- record your reactions to the source.
How do I format the bibliographic citations?
Check with your instructor to determine which documentation style is required for your class: APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, CBE, Numbered References, APSA, etc.
Then, remember that the bibliography is an organized list of sources used. The annotation may immediately follow the bibliographic information on the same line, or it may begin on a new line, two lines below the publication information.
But, since style manuals differ, check with your instructor about which one to use concerning form, spacing, and consistency.
If you are using APA documentation, the Writing Center offers a short workshop called “APA Documentation”.
What goes into the content of the annotations?
Below are some of the most common forms of annotated bibliographies. Click on the links to see examples of each.
This form of annotation defines the scope of the source, lists the significant topics included, and tells what the source is about.
This type is different from the informative entry in that the informative entry gives actual information about its source.
In the indicative entry there is no attempt to give actual data such as hypotheses, proofs, etc. Generally, only topics or chapter titles are included.
Indicative (descriptive–tell us what is included in the source) Griffin, C. Williams, ed. (1982). Teaching writing in all disciplines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ten essays on writing-across-the-curriculum programs, teaching writing in disciplines other than English, and teaching techniques for using writing as learning. Essays include Toby Fulwiler, “Writing: An Act of Cognition”; Barbara King, “Using Writing in the Mathematics Class: Theory and Pratice”; Dean Drenk, “Teaching Finance Through Writing”; Elaine P. Maimon, “Writing Across the Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future.” (Bizzell and Herzberg, 1991, p. 47)
Simply put, this form of annotation is a summary of the source.
To write it, begin by writing the thesis; then develop it with the argument or hypothesis, list the proofs, and state the conclusion.
Informative (summary–tell us what the main findings or arguments are in the source) Voeltz, L.M. (1980). Children’s attitudes toward handicapped peers. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 84, 455-464. As services for severely handicapped children become increasingly available within neighborhood public schools, children’s attitudes toward handicapped peers in integrated settings warrant attention. Factor analysis of attitude survey responses of 2,392 children revealed four factors underlying attitudes toward handicapped peers: social-contact willingness, deviance consequation, and two actual contact dimensions. Upper elementary-age children, girls, and children in schools with most contact with severely handicapped peers expressed the most accepting attitudes. Results of this study suggest the modifiability of children’s attitudes and the need to develop interventions to facilitate social acceptance of individual differences in integrated school settings. (Sternlicht and Windholz, 1984, p. 79)
In this form of annotation you need to assess the source’s strengths and weaknesses.
You get to say why the source is interesting or helpful to you, or why it is not. In doing this you should list what kind of and how much information is given; in short, evaluate the source’s usefulness.
Evaluative (tell us what you think of the source) Gurko, Leo. (1968). Ernest Hemingway and the pursuit of heroism. New York: Crowell. This book is part of a series called “Twentieth Century American Writers”: a brief introduction to the man and his work. After fifty pages of straight biography, Gurko discussed Hemingway’s writing, novel by novel. There’s an index and a short bibliography, but no notes. The biographical part is clear and easy to read, but it sounds too much like a summary. (Spatt, 1991, p. 322) Hingley, Ronald. (1950). Chekhov: A biographical and critical study. London: George Allen & Unwin. A very good biography. A unique feature of this book is the appendix, which has a chronological listing of all English translations of Chekhov’s short stories. (Spatt, 1991, p. 411)
Most annotated bibliographies are of this type.
They contain one or two sentences summarizing or describing content and one or two sentences providing an evaluation.
Combination Morris, Joyce M. (1959). Reading in the primary school: An investigation into standards of reading and their association with primary school characteristics. London: Newnes, for National Foundation for Educational Research. Report of a large-scale investigation into English children’s reading standards, and their relation to conditions such as size of classes, types of organisation and methods of teaching. Based on enquiries in sixty schools in Kent and covering 8,000 children learning to read English as their mother tongue. Notable for thoroughness of research techniques.
Which writing style should I use in the annotations?
The most important thing to understand is that entries should be brief.
Only directly significant details will be mentioned and any information apparent in the title can be omitted from the annotation.
In addition, background materials and references to previous work by the same author usually are not included.
Listed below are three writing styles used in annotated bibliographies. Click on a link to see examples of each.
Get the information out, quickly and concisely. Be clear, but complete and grammatically correct sentences are unnecessary.
Telegraphic (phrases, non-sentences) Vowles, Richard B. (1962). Psychology and drama: A selected checklist. Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, 3,(1), 35-48. Divided by individual authors. Reviews the research between 1920 and 1961. (Bell and Gallup, 1971, p. 68)
In this style you must always use complete sentences.
The length of the sentences varies. Subjects and conjunctions are not eliminated even though the tone may be terse. Avoid long and complex sentences.
Complete sentences Kinter, W. R., and R L. Pfaltzgraff. (1972). Assessing the Moscow SALT agreements. Orbis, 16, 34l-360. The authors hold the conservative view that SALT can not halt the slipping nuclear advantage of the United States. They conclude that the United States needs a national reassessment of defense policy. They further conclude that the only utility of SALT is in developing a dialogue with the Soviets. This is a good conservative critique of SALT I. (Strenski and Manfred, 1981, p. 165)
When using this form of annotation, you must write a full, coherent paragraph.
Sometimes this can be similar to the form of a bibliographic essay. It goes without saying that you need to use complete sentences.
Paragraph (a little more formal) Voeltz, L.M. (1980). Children’s attitudes toward handicapped peers. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 84, 455-464. As services for severely handicapped children become increasingly available within neighborhood public schools, children’s attitudes toward handicapped peers in integrated settings warrant attention. Factor analysis of attitude survey responses of 2,392 children revealed four factors underlying attitudes toward handicapped peers: social- contact willingness, deviance consequation, and two actual contact dimensions. Upper elementary-age children, girls, and children in schools with most contact with severely handicapped peers expressed the most accepting attitudes. Results of this study suggest the modifiability of children’s attitudes and the need to develop interventions to facilitate social acceptance of individual differences in integrated school settings. (Sternlicht and Windholz, 1984, p. 79)
If you have additional questions, ask your course instructor or consider scheduling an appointment with a Writing Center instructor.
The Writing Center also has information on different documentation systems, such as MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, CBE, Numbered References, and APSA styles of citation.
If you are using APA documentation, you are in luck! The Writing Center offers a short class called “The Basics of APA Documentation”!
References for examples used
Bell, Inglis F., and Jennifer Gallup. (1971). A reference guide to English, American, and Canadian literature . Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzberg. (1991). Bedford bibliography for teachers of writing . 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press.
Center for Information on Language Teaching and The English Teaching Information Center of the British Council. (1968). A Language-teaching bibliography . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Spatt, Brenda. (1991). Writing from sources . 3rd ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Sternlicht, Manny, and George Windholz. (1984). Social behavior of the mentally retarded. New York and London: Garland Press.
Strenski, Ellen, and Madge Manfred. (1981). The research paper workbook . 2nd ed. New York and London: Longman.
Academic and Professional Writing
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis
Using Literary Quotations
Writing a Rhetorical Précis to Analyze Nonfiction Texts
Incorporating Interview Data
Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics
Additional Resources for Grants and Proposal Writing
Job Materials and Application Essays
Writing Personal Statements for Ph.D. Programs
- Before you begin: useful tips for writing your essay
- Guided brainstorming exercises
- Get more help with your essay
- Frequently Asked Questions
Resume Writing Tips
CV Writing Tips
Proposals and Dissertations
Resources for Proposal Writers
Resources for Dissertators
Planning and Writing Research Papers
Quoting and Paraphrasing
Writing Annotated Bibliographies
Creating Poster Presentations
Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper
Advice for Students Writing Thank-You Notes to Donors
Reading for a Review
Writing a Review of Literature
Scientific Report Format
Sample Lab Assignment
Writing for the Web
Writing an Effective Blog Post
Writing for Social Media: A Guide for Academics
- Plagiarism and grammar
- Citation guides
Cite a Website in American Psychological Association 6th edition (annotated bibliography with abstract)
Don't let plagiarism errors spoil your paper, consider your source's credibility. ask these questions:, contributor/author.
- Has the author written several articles on the topic, and do they have the credentials to be an expert in their field?
- Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?
- Have other credible individuals referenced this source or author?
- Book: What have reviews said about it?
- What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?
- Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?
- Take a look at their other content. Do these other articles generally appear credible?
- Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?
- Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?
- Are there ads?
- When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?
- Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?
- Does the source even have a date?
- Was it reproduced? If so, from where?
- If it was reproduced, was it done so with permission? Copyright/disclaimer included?
- Citation Machine® Plus
- Citation Guides
- Chicago Style
- Harvard Referencing
- Cookie Notice
- DO NOT SELL MY INFO
- Start Your Research
- Subject & Course Research Guides
- Computers, Printing & Additional Services
- Success Centers
- Faculty Circulation
- eRes & Online Storage
- Schedule a Library Orientation
- Research Skills & Information Literacy
- Find Books & eBooks
- Find Articles
- Find Credible Websites
- Citing Your Sources
- Hours & Holidays
- Library Map
- Library Staff
- Mission, Policies & Outcomes
Annotated Bibliography: Find Websites
- Find Websites
- MLA Citations
- APA Citations
- Chicago Style
Website Evaluation Tutorial
- Website Evaluation Tutorial If you're starting a research assignment and want to do a quick review on how to evaluate websites. Check out our online website evaluation tutorial.
Website Domain Types
.com – Commercial websites
- Generally created by a business or corporation and is for profit.
- Provides information on products or is motivated by sales.
.edu – Educational websites
- Created by a college, university or grade school.
- Information is provided for academic purposes.
- Highly regulated and can only be owned by an educational organization.
.gov – Government websites
- Created by local, state, and national goverments.
- Information is provided for the public.
- Highly regulated and can only be owned by a government organization.
.org – Organization website
- Used by both non-profit organizations, for profit corporations and individuals.
- Organization websites can be owned by a corporation and be sales motivated, owned by an individual or owned by a non-profit organization that provides information supporting a specific cause or viewpoint.
- Carefully evaluate non-profit organizations as they can have a particular viewpoint on an issue, so the information they provide can be biased or slanted in order to support their viewpoint.
Google Advanced Search
Quick Tip: If you are searching Google for a website with a specific domain, such as a .gov or .edu, when you type in your search add "site:" and the domain type at the end of your search term. For example, if you wanted to find government websites on gun control, type in "gun control site:.gov". Or if you wanted to specifically search for non-profit websites that had information on wildlife, type in "wildlife site:.org".
- Google Advanced Search Use to specify website domain when searching, such as .gov sites for government information.
How to Write An Annotated Bibliography
- A Complete Guide to the MLA Annotated Bibliography This annotated bibliography guide is here to help answer all of your questions and includes step-by-step instructions on how to do an annotated bibliography in MLA style or an APA annotated bibliography.
- Annotated Bibliography Templates You can download APA and MLA annotated bibliography templates from this website. Please make sure to delete the university name from the template before using it.
- Annotated Bibliography Samples This Purdue University website includes sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. The annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
Evaluating Websites for Use for Research Assignments
Are you considering using a website for a research assignment?
Not all websites are appropriate for academic research and you need to examine them carefully in order to determine if the information is accurate, credible, and supports your research assignment.
Websites can be created by anyone and facts, images, and videos can be easily altered. Websites have to be carefully evaluated for use in your research assignments. Also be sure to ask your instructor if they will accept a website as a source for your research assignment.
There are countless websites available on various topics, but how do you determine what websites are the best to use? There are four main questions you want to ask yourself when critically examining a website in order to determine if it is appropriate for your research assignment:
WHO created the website?
WHAT type of website is it and what is the website's domain?
WHEN was the information on the website last updated?
WHY was the website created?
WHO created the website?
- What company, organization or person created the website? Was the information posted by a business, a researcher in the field, or a layperson?
- Is the author a subject specialist in their field, what is their educational background, and have they published books or articles on the topic?
- Is there contact information for the creator or sponsor of the site such as an email address or a phone number?
- Anyone can create a website or blog and post whatever information they want, whether it is true or not, so having contact information available shows that the website is more credible and accountable. Hint: Best place to look for the website creator's information is at the bottom or top of the page or under the About, Information, Mission or FAQs (frequently asked questions) section of the website.
WHAT type of website is it and WHAT is the website's domain?
There are certain types of websites that are highly regulated and tend to be more appropriate for research assignments, such as websites with the .edu and .gov domains. That is because educational .edu and government .gov websites can only be issued to an educational organization or a government organization and their content is under more scrutiny and oversight. They can provide original research and information on that topic for government and academic purposes and are not motivated by sales, but educational .edu and government .gov websites can still have bias or a particular viewpoint on a topic. For example, if you look at https://www.whitehouse.gov/ The White House website you can see that all the information is government related and there are no ads on the site.
Keep in mind that any website you use for research purposes should always be carefully evaluated, even if it is a .edu or .gov website.
- How current the information is on a website or when it was last updated is dependent on your research topic. Sometimes your professor will ask that you use sources from the last few years.
- If you are researching a current, controversial issue, you need to have the most up to date information. Especially if your topic is related to changes in the law or recent scientific discoveries.
- Try looking at the bottom of the webpage or the top of the article to see when the information was posted or last updated.
- Also look on the webpage for links to references and articles that show where the information came from and make sure to click on the links to see if they actually work.
Examining the motives of the website creator will help you to determine if there is a particular viewpoint or bias in providing that information. For example commercial websites , such as a .com or .net , are generally going to be motivated to sell you something or to advertise their product, so you need to be aware of that in terms of determining if the website's information is accurate and appropriate to use for a research assignment.
Consider why the author posted the information on the website. Critically thinking about why the information was posted, helps you determine if the website is appropriate to use for your research assignment:
- Inform - the author is simply stating informational facts.
- Explain - the author is explaining a subject.
- Entertain - the author is attempting to entertain the reader.
- Persuade - the author is striving to change your point of view on a topic
- Sell - the author is trying to get you to purchase something
- << Previous: Find Articles
- Next: Citing Your Sources >>
- Last Updated: Feb 21, 2023 1:59 PM
- URL: https://libguides.chaffey.edu/annotatedbib
An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that includes a short descriptive text (an annotation) for each source. It may be assigned as part of the research process for a paper, or as an individual assignment to gather and read relevant sources on a topic.
Annotated Bibliographies Definitions A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using.
You can create and manage your annotated bibliography with Scribbr's free MLA Citation Generator. Choose your source type, retrieve the details, and click "Add annotation." Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr Webpage Book Video Journal article Online news article Cite
Annotated bibliographies begin with the bibliographic citation, followed by your annotation. Modern Language Association (MLA) Style In MLA style, cite the author's name, article or page name, title of the website, version numbers, publisher information and the date you accessed the site.
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources (like a reference list). It differs from a straightforward bibliography in that each reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation, usually 100-200 words in length. Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibliography might have different purposes:
Annotated Bibliography Samples Overview Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
What is an annotated bibliography? Why include annotations? Step 1: Analyze your sources Step 2: Write the descriptions Step 3a: Formatting an MLA style annotated bibliography Step 3b: Formatting an APA style annotated bibliography Annotated Bibliography Templates Using the EasyBib Annotation Tool What is an annotated bibliography?
EasyBib®: Free Bibliography Generator - MLA, APA, Chicago citation styles The best papers start with EasyBib® Create citations Start a new citation or manage your existing projects. Check your paper Scan your paper for plagiarism and grammar errors. Check your paper for grammar and plagiarism
An annotated bibliography is a special type of bibliography that provides additional information about the sources listed in the references list. The additional information about a source is called an annotation. An annotation can be given for all types of sources such as journals, books, or reports.
To write an APA annotated bibliography, you need to include the title "Annotated Bibliography," the citation, and the annotation. The citation varies based on the type of sources you use, such as a book, journal, or website. The annotation includes a summary, evaluation, reflection, or all three. Is an APA annotated bibliography double spaced?
Get a step-by-step overview on how to create an annotated bibliography using Bibliography.com. Open the citation generator and click "Start Your Bibliography." Select the pencil icon to modify your title. Edit your title and choose your style. Click "Add New Citation."
A good annotated bibliography: encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas. proves you have read and understand your sources. establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher.
Writing an Annotated Bibliography This guide explains what an annotated bibliography is, gives examples of annotated bibliographies, helps you find sources and cite them Annotated Bibliography Home
An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes annotations, which are short notes explaining why the author chose each of the sources. Generally a few sentences long, these notes might summarize or reflect on the source. An annotated bibliography is not the same as a literature review.
An annotated bibliography contains three parts: 1. the title at the top; 2. the bibliographic citation; and 3. the annotation following each citation. Some style formats may also include an introduction to the topic. While the citation provides standard details about the work, the annotation following it is generally summary, analysis, or ...
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research. First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items.
Annotated Bibliography. An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources, each of which is followed by a brief note or "annotation.". These annotations do one or more of the following: describe the content and focus of the book or article. suggest the source's usefulness to your research. evaluate its method, conclusions, or ...
Don't let plagiarism errors spoil your paper. Scan your paper for plagiarism mistakes. Get help for 7,000+ citation styles including APA 6. Check for 400+ advanced grammar errors. Create in-text citations and save them. Free 3-day trial. Cancel anytime.*️. Try Citation Machine® Plus!
This Purdue University website includes sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. The annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.