Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
All professors have different expectations about the length and contents of annotations. Be sure to check the assignment sheet or ask your professor what s/he requires for your annotated bibliography.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and other sources used while researching a topic. Bibliographies may be also be called "References" or "Works Cited," depending on the style manual used.
An annotation is a summary or evaluation.
An annotated bibliography is a bibliography with annotations for the items cited.
Descriptive annotations focus on describing the cited items and may include information such as:
- Contents and purpose of work
- Intended audience
- Research methods used
- Author's conclusions
- Special features of the item, such as illustrations, maps, graphs, etc.
Evaluative (or critical) annotations focus on evaluating the source and may include information such as:
- Importance of the work's contributions to the field of study
- Author's qualifications
- Accuracy of information
- Limitations of the work
- Bias or tone of the work
- Comparsion with other works
Understanding the Annotated Bibliography
APA and MLA Annotated Bibliographies (Video)