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The Annotated Bibliography: Step by Step Guide: Home

This library guide covers everything you need to know about writing an annotated bibliography

The Annotated Bibliography


Your instructor may require that you write an annotated bibliography. It is a specific type of bibliography that also provides a short summary and/or analysis of sources. If you follow this guide, it won't be stressful to create your own annotated bibliography!

Annotating your sources provides the opportunity to explore and discuss the relevance and reliability of your sources to your research topic. By learning more about a particular topic through the critical evaluation of the literature, the author understands the arguments and research and is able to share this information with others. Remember, the purpose of research in college is so that you contribute to that field of knowledge. 


What is an Annotated Bibliography?

In any writing style like MLA or APA, you should include a page listing information for sources that you referred to and cited in your paper. In MLA Style, that is a Works Cited page and in APA Style, it's called a references page.

Bibliographies take it a step further. A Bibliography lists ALL the material you consulted while researching, whether you cited the work or not. Bibliographies are more common to use in Chicago and Turabian styles; however, they are sometimes used to annotate works in MLA or APA. 


Wait, tell me again what it is . . .

Annotations means NOTES. Basically, an annotated bibliography is a list of citations that include a brief summary and/or analysis of your sources. Your annotation provides information about how your source is important to your research and whether it is credible. By providing a 150-250 word annotation, you take basic citing a step further by explaining why you selected that source.


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Director of Educational Resources & OER Specialist, Title III SIP Grant Director, Adjunct Instructor

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Relinda Ruth
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The Annotated Bibliography by Relinda Ruth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.