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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography? A bibliography is a list of sources that you plan to use in your paper. In an annotated bibliography, each source is followed by a summary of it and its relevance to your paper topic. Creating an annotated bibliography ensures that you have found adequate scholarly resources, and that you have read your sources carefully and have a good sense of how they relate to your topic.

Before you Begin

  • Identify and gather the sources that you will use.
  • Read each source and take some general notes on it.
  • Make sure that you know how to cite sources in your bibliography correctly.

Format of the Annotated Bibliography:

  • Each source is listed in correct bibliographic form.
  • Sources are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
  • Each source is followed by a 3-5 sentence summary.

What to Include in the Summary

  • A sentence or two on the general topic or research question that the work addresses.
  • A sentence or two on the thesis or argument of the work.
  • A sentence on the author's methodology: What kinds of sources are used? Is it a case study or an overview of scholarship on the subject? How is the book/article organized?
  • A sentence on how this source is relevant to your paper topic or how it will be helpful to your research and analysis.

Sample Annotated Bibliography (with explanatory comments)