Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies are a valuable part of the research process.  They are used in a variety of contexts, including: research papers, grant proposals, consulting, and work projects.  They provide you a place to collect information and to write about how you may use that information.

Simply put, an annotated bibliography is a collection of sources around a particular topic of interest with each source containing a summary (annotation) of its content.  It is important to follow your instructor’s guidelines for such an assignment as there is a broad range of ways one can approach constructing such a collection.  Some annotated bibliographies are a collection of many sources, sometimes hundreds of sources, with a one or two sentence annotation; others will have annotations that are several paragraphs or even several pages.  Typically, an annotated bibliography provides the source citation as it would appear in a bibliography and then a paragraph or two summarizing the information in the source.  Some bibliographies will analyze the source as well in terms of its value to the overall research.

Additional Information

Annotated Bibliographies from Columbia College. A helpful guide with APA and MLA paper templates.

Annotated Bibliographies from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). An annotated bibliography guide that is part of an even more comprehensive collection of academic writing resources.  Be sure to view the “examples” and “samples” pages available on the left sidebar.

Annotated Bibliographies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Another comprehensive guide with example annotations.

What’s an annotated bibliography? from the Champlain College Library This brief video introduction to annotated bibliographies.