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Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

What is a bibliography? Often called a “works cited list” or “reference list,” it’s a list, usually found at the end of your project, that displays all of the sources that you used in your research project. In this list, you may have websites, books, newspapers, magazines, or other types of sources that were used.

Each listed source, also called a “citation,” shares information about the author, title, publishing year, and other items. Citations are provided so that others can find the sources themselves.

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents where each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 100 to 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.

Why Have One?

Sometimes instructors want you to include an “annotated bibliography.” An annotated bibliography includes three items for each source:

  • the citation
  • a short summary of the source
  • your personal thoughts and insights from the source

The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, location, and quality of the sources cited. Please check with your teacher or professor first to see if an annotated bibliography/works cited page is needed for your paper.

The Citation

  • Create the citation in MLA, APA, or another style that your teacher instructs you to cite in. Your teacher will tell you which style you should use.

The Summary

  • Write a few sentences summarizing the source. What was it about? What was the main point of it?

Your Personal Thoughts and Insights

  • Was the source helpful for your particular assignment?
  • How did it help answer your research question(s)?
  • How was this source different than the other sources used?
  • Did the source change your thinking on the research topic?
  • How did the source affect you?

Organization:

  • Citations are listed in alphabetical order
  • Format your paper according to the MLA or APA guidelines (include the link to the MLA and APA guideline pages)

Example (in MLA):

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Example (in APA):

Annotated Bibliographies

Did you know that you can create annotated bibliographies using EasyBib citation tools? Go to any citation form and simply click the “Add Annotation” button at the bottom. A space will open up that allows you to add your own annotation for the citation.