What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is an alphabetic list of research resources that includes an annotation (a description and/or brief critique) for each item. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the substance, relevance and quality of each source. Annotations appear after each item in the bibliography.

Annotations do not affect the citation style. Therefore, use APA, MLA, Chicago, or another citation style of your choice in the same way you would when preparing a normal bibliography.

What should each annotation include?

An annotation is a paragraph which may contain the following points:

  • information about the author (his/her qualifications or place of work)
  • the main argument and purpose of the work
  • types of material/data/evidence the author used to make points
  • the work's main recommendations or conclusions
  • your critique and/or assessment of the work (a summary of your analysis of the argument)
  • description of any biases and usefulness of the work for your essay

Please note:

  • your instructor may also request that specific information be included/excluded, so read the assignment guidelines carefully
Example:

McNab, David T. "Who is on Trial? Teme-Augama Anishnabai Land Rights and George Ironside, Junior: Re-Considering Oral Tradition." Canadian Journal of Native Studies [Canada] 18.1 (1998): pp. 117-33.

          This research note is an examination of significant documents that were presented during the litigation of the Temagami court case concerning land rights, the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, and annuities. McNab argues that the oral tradition of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai is accurate, showing that they never participated in the treaty. He provides a good narrative about aboriginal oral history tradition which is intended to generate historical debate on this issue. The endnotes and list of references are both informative and especially useful for further research.

Useful video: Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Content last updated: May 24, 2018