TUTORIAL: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES
A bibliography is a list of books, articles, and other sources of information.
- Sometimes called References or Works Cited
- Tells people where your information came from so that they know where to go if they want to learn more
- Writing a bibliography is like writing a list of good restaurants for a friend — a quick list of recommendations
An annotation is a note about a book, article or other source, explaining what it’s about, why it’s relevant, or what point of view it demonstrates.
An annotation should do the following:
- Summarize: What is the source about?
- Evaluate: Do you think the source is reliable or questionable? Is it biased or objective? Is it up-to-date or outdated? Why do you think that?
- Connect to your topic: How is the source relevant to your research?
An annotated bibliography is a bibliography (list of sources) with annotations (notes about those sources).
- Your annotations explain why you are using these particular sources.
- Writing an annotated bibliography is like writing down a list of good restaurants for a friend, with notes about which ones have the best fish tacos, which ones are least expensive, which ones are best for large groups, etc.
For more information about writing annotated bibliographies, check out a style guide from the DISD Library or visit these websites:
There are many different ways to format a citation.
- The three most common styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago.
- Read your assignment instructions carefully — your instructor may require a particular style or even have their own guidelines for you to follow (it’s good practice for your professional career, since every magazine also has its own unique set of guidelines!)
Citation Cheat Sheets
If you are comfortable with citations but need to double-check your formatting, look at one of these cheat sheets. Each one covers the basics of citations in 1-2 pages.
- APA Example Citations | University of Washington Libraries
- Chicago Example Citations | University of Washington Libraries
- MLA Example Citations | University of Washington Libraries
Citing Sources Tutorials
If you aren’t yet comfortable formatting citations, or if you need to cite a type of source not covered by the cheat sheets, check out one of these DISD Library Tutorials:
Here are some examples of annotated bibliography entries, formatted according to MLA style guidelines, for a research paper on a particular work of art, the drawing The Dream by Michelangelo. Click here to see the full annotated bibliography (PDF).
The first entry is for a book that you found in print (i.e., you looked at the physical book, not an e-book version online). The annotation explains what the book is about, why it appears to be a reliable source, and how it is relevant to the research topic.
Click on an image to see a larger version
The next entry is for an essay that you found online. The annotation explains what the essay is about (summarize), why it appears to be a reliable source (evaluate), and how it is relevant to the research topic (connect).
The next entry is for a book that you found online. The annotation explains what the book is about (summarize), why it appears to be a reliable source (evaluate), and how it is relevant to the research topic (connect).
The next entry is for a web page. The annotation explains what the web page is about (summarize), why it appears to be a reliable source (evaluate), and how it is relevant to the research topic (connect).
The next entry is for a journal article that you found online through OmniFile, the online collection of magazine and journal articles that DISD subscribes to. The annotation explains what the article is about (summarize), why it appears to be a reliable source (evaluate), and how it is relevant to the research topic (connect).
To see more examples of annotated bibliographies, check out these websites:
- Annotated Bibliography Samples | OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab
- Annotated Bibliographies - APA Style Examples | The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Annotated Bibliographies - MLA Style Examples | The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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