What is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations, arranged alphabetically by authors' last names, with a brief annotation (description/summary/analysis/evaluation) following each citation.
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Your professor might assign an annotated bibliography for you to show that you have conducted research in your discipline and have widened your understanding of a topic. Some instructors ask you to create an annotated bibliography in preparation for writing a research essay.
Please note that your professors may have slightly different requirements for your assignments, so pay attention to what is communicated throughout your course. You may be required to identify the authors' research methods and theoretical frameworks. Some annotated bibliographies are descriptive, while others include analysis or criticism in each annotation.
Click any of the blue tabs above to view examples of citations and annotations in specific style guide formats.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material that are freely available online. They provide information on Annotated Bibliographies, Annotated Bibliography Breakdown, and Annotated Bibliography Samples.
The University of Toronto offers an example that illustrates how to summarize a study's research methods and argument.
Cornell University Library offers these examples of both APA and MLA format descriptive bibliographies.