Annotated Bibliographies: Home

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is an organized list of citations (a bibliography) where a short note (an annotation) follows each source.

Each annotation generally contains three to seven sentences that describe and/or evaluate the source and the information it contains.

What Should an Annotation Include?

Always ask your instructor about content requirements for an assigned annotated bibliography.

The annotations in your annotated bibliography may do one or more of the following:

  • Summarize - A description of the source's content. What is the source about? What information does it provide?
  • Evaluate - An assessment of the source. It's strengths and weaknesses, bias, value to topic, accuracy.
    • Form - Is the material found in a book, eBook, website, periodical article, periodical article from a database, etc.?
    • Purpose - Does the material mean to inform, persuade, entertain, etc.?
    • Audience - Is it for the general public, people in a specific profession, scholars, etc.?
    • Authority - Is the author/publisher reliable?
    • Currency - Is the source up-to-date?
    • Coverage - Is the source comprehensive, an overview, show only one viewpoint, etc.?
    • Special features - Does the source contain charts, photos, maps, bibliographies, etc.?
    • Usefulness - Is this information useful to you in your research? How?
  • Reflect - An assessment of how the source fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it fit into your research project? Has the source changed how you think about your topic?

Additional Annotated Bibliography Resources