An annotated bibliography is a way of evaluating sources.
They show that you have read a source and that you understand the content.
They also show the reader how the sources are useful to the research.
A basic annotation contains:
a citation in the correct format (ex. MLA or APA).
a comment about the author and their authority on the topic.
an explanation of the main concepts of the source and why it is relevant to your research.
Here are the steps to follow:
A: Talk about the author. (1 sentence)
Is this a professor? Maybe this is a professional in the field? Or is this person a hobbyist? Tell the audience about the author in the first part of the annotation.
B: Explain what the article is about. (1-3 sentences)
Tell the audience what is in the article. This is the most difficult part of the annotation because it requires you to be very succinct. Don’t rewrite the article; just write the base facts and important notes about the article here.
C: Explain how this article illuminates your bibliography topic. (1-2 sentences)
What about this article makes it relevant to your topic? Why did you select it? What pertinent bit of information makes this article stand out among the others?
D: Compare or contrast this work with another you have cited. (1-2 sentences)
How does this specific article relate to another article in your annotated bibliography? Do they agree or not? Why not? What makes them unique?
From a handout by Aaron Wimer
View the links below to learn more about how to create an annotated bibliography and see examples.
A discussion about an example of an annotated bibliography, including thoughts to keep in mind while writing an annotation. Written by Dana Bisignani and Allen Brizee from The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue, Purdue University.