Writing an Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

  • A bibliography is a list of accurate citations for a number of sources on a certain topic.
  • An annotation is a short description and evaluation of a source that helps someone decide whether or not the source might be useful for specific research.

So, an Annotated Bibliography is a combination of the above: a list of accurate citations and annotations for a number of sources on a certain topic.

What needs to be included? 

  • Good sources! What makes a source good depends on your topic but also on the scholarly value and relevance of the source. Wondering if your source is good enough? Make sure it passes the CRAP test!
  • A complete citation for each of your sources. Make sure you are using the correct citation style (MLA 7) and list them in alphabetical order. Questions? Look on the Citing Sources page or ask a librarian!
  • A complete annotation for each source.  This includes, in your own words:
    • Summary of the source--What is this source about?
    • Evaluation of the source--How do you know that this source is "good"?
    • Relevance to your topic--Why is this source valuable to your research?
    • Relevance to your other sources - what are the connections, similarities and differences between this source, and all your other sources? Tell your reader how your sources connect together to build an overall picture on your topic.
  • Requirements of the assignment.  Read the assignment. Your professor will have specific things they are looking for. Make sure you know what they are. And if you aren't sure, ask your professor.

This sounds like a lot! Where can I get help? 

When in doubt, ask for help! Ask your professor about the assignment and remember you can always ask a librarian for help finding sources!