What's an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography has two distinctive features
- Citations: list of sources formatted in a particular style (MLA or APA) that identifies what it is, who created it, who published it, where it was published, and when it was written. See also: Why Cite
- Annotations: notes about each citation. There are various types of annotations:
- Descriptive, Indicative: Describes the source
- Informative, Summative: Summarizes content including hypothesis, methodology, main points, results and conclusions
- Critical, Evaluative, Analytical: Critically analyses source content and compares it to other sources
NOTES: Instructor may ask for a combination of Descriptive & Critical OR Informative & Critical.
For your own information... make note of the database (Ex.: Academic Search Premier) or resource (book bibliography) where you find the items you are using.
Why create an annotated bibliography?
- To can keep track of resources as you gather them
- Allows you time to reflect on content as you write the annotations
- Annotations can help you make decisions on which items to use in your paper or presentation.
- With a list of citations with annotations, you can analyze your resources by the numbers and types of citations. For example:
Do you have items in different formats? Ex: book, journal, newspaper, film, blog, interview...
Do you have items representing different points of view?
Do you have items from the popular press and scholarly academic sources?
Do you have items from different disciplines?
- You can share a list of resources with a committee or a group.
- Peer-review opportunities: Someone else can review sources before you use them.
- You can re-evaluate your resources before using in final paper and/or presentation.
- Consulting annotations as you write provides a bit of distance from the original resource wording, making it easier to phrase ideas in your own words.
- Your final bibliography is virtually done.
- Your final paper and/or presentation should be easier to create.
An annotated bibliography assignment indicates to an instructor that :
- You are headed in the right direction for an assignment.
- You can gather information from various disciplinary points of view.
- You are able to differentiate between scholarly academic and popular press materials.
- You are able to choose appropriate items for your given topic and thesis statement.
- You can critically evaluate materials based on authority.
More information on annotated bibliographies is available at the following sites
- Preparing an Annotated Bibliography University of Maryland Library
- Typical assignment and grading rubrics for Annotated Bibliographies Erika Rux Librarian, Concordia
RefWorks can help you create citations and cite within a paper. RefWorks help pages
Maintained by Theresa Borchert. Last update 10-10-11
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Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, Concordia College, Moorhead,Minnesota