Annotated Bibliography

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
  • main arguments and purpose of the work
  • intended audience and level of difficulty
  • the work's main recommendations or conclusions
  • your critique/assessment of the work (describing biases, integrity, and usefulness of the work for your essay)
  • your instructor may also request that specific information be included/excluded, so check with him/her or your TA if you are unsure


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Content last reviewed: January 26, 2021