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Tips for writing an annotated bibliograpy with examples of MLA and APA documentation.
Last Updated: Mar 3, 2016 URL: http://pac.alamo.libguides.com/content.php?pid=314146 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that also include a paragraph following each citation that summarizes or evaluates the source being cited. "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" (Glossary of Research Terms, n.d.). 

Purpose:

The primary purpose of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in finding the sources used in the writing of a work. Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibligraphy might have different purposes:

  • provide a literature review on a particular subject
  • help formulate a thesis on a subject
  • demonstrate the quality of research that you have done
  • show that you understand each source cited
  • provide examples of the types of sources available
  • describe other items on a topic that may be of interest to the reader
  • explore the subject for further research
 

Types of annotated bibliographies

There are 2 common types of annotations - descriptive and critical or evaluative.

Descriptive annotation may summarize:

  • The main purpose or idea of the work
  • The contents of the work
  • The author’s conclusions
  • The intended audience
  • The author’s research methods
  • Special features of the work such as illustrations, maps, tables, etc." (University of Wisconsin, 2010)

"Critical annotation includes the same information as a descriptive annotation, but will also include value judgments or comments on the effectiveness of the work. [In this context, critical means evaluative and may include both positive and negative comments.] When writing a critical annotation, include some of the these features:

  • The importance of the work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • The author’s bias or tone
  • The author’s qualifications for writing the work
  • The accuracy of the information in the source
  • Limitations or significant omissions
  • The work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • Comparison with other works on the topic" (University of Wisconsin, 2010)
 

Introduction to annotated bibliography.

Subject Guide

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