Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, websites, periodicals, etc.) that have been used for researching a topic. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (author, title, publisher, etc.).

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that gives the publication information and a short description — or annotation — for each source.

  • Each annotation is generally three to seven sentences long.
  • In some bibliographies, the annotation merely describes the content and scope of the source;
  • In others, the annotation also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose.

What is the purpose of an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography shows that the author has understood the sources used during their research on a topic and gives the reader enough information to decide whether they should read the specific work.

Additional Online Help

OWL - Purdue Online Writing Lab provides examples of Annotated Bibliographies for APA, MLA, and Chicago Styles.

Citation Manuals

Video: annotated bibliography