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Writing an Annotated Bilbiography

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What is An Annotated Bibliography?

bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) used for researching a topic

  • called References if you are using APA Citations Style
  • called Works Cited if you are using MLA Citation Style
  • includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.)

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation.

An annotated bibliographmeans and a short paragraph about the source is added to the citation. Examples of what the paragraph should include:

  • summary
    • purpose and main arguments of the source
    • topics covered
  • evaluation
    • author credentials and qualifications
    • reliability and accuracy, 
    • objectivity or bias
    • biased or objective
    • meets its stated goals
  • reflection
    • how the source fits into your research
    • how it helps you shape your argument
    • how it may have changed how you think about your topic

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Annotated bibliographies are important because they can help you learn about the various perspectives relevant to your topic. You'll start to discover what the difference issues are and help you develop your own perspective about the topic. They can also be used as a personal pre-writing exercise to help you put your research puzzle together.

Take Notes Using Your Annotated Bibliography Worksheet

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The structure used for the content you will include in your annotations can help you know what to look for when reading through research articles. It may be useful to copy/paste these questions from the worksheet below into a Word document and answer them as you read or consult the worksheet as you take notes by hand.

These also questions help you grasp the important concepts related to your topic.



  • Who wrote and/or published this source?
  • Who is it written for?
  • What is the overall topic or point of this source?
  • Pick 1 or 2 details that seem important. Possibly quote one!
  • Why is this source meaningful? How can it be used?

Links to More Information and a Video About Writing an Annotated Bibliography

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