Help Guides » Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies

▶️What is an Annotated Bibliography?

What is an annotated bibliography?

✏️What should I Include in Each Annotation?

  • Aim for 100-200 words
  • Keep your language and writing style formal/academic.
  • Read your assignment carefully for specific requirements.
  • Most assignments require a combination of summary and critique or evaluation.

For the summary

  • State the facts without opinions or commentary
  • Include the thesis/hypothesis, main arguments, the evidence presented, and the conclusions
  • Include the methods used (if a research study)
  • list the author’s credentials or expertise

For the critique, answer these questions

  • How effective is the argument or evidence provided?
  • (For research studies) Are the methods reliable and valid?
  • Do you agree with the author’s conclusions?
  • How does this item compare to your other sources, or trends in the field?
  • Will you use this article in your paper or project (if applicable)?

📄What Types of Sources Should I Use?

Your instructor will likely specify how many, how old (5 years?), and what types of sources they require or allow for your assignment.

  • Usually scholarly books or journal articles
  • Sometimes videos, websites, or government sources
  • Credible, meaning they have a known author or creator or are from a reputable organization or government office.
  • Graduate students should use scholarly primary and secondary sources like edited book chapters, literature reviews, and research studies (no textbooks or encyclopedias).

💭How do I choose the best options?

Try to include at least one source which covers each of these:

  • Background information (the history of your topic)
  • Evidence (like research studies or literature reviews)
  • Arguments & Conclusions (what do most scholars think? Does anyone disagree?)
  • Methods ( best ways to study your topic)


Check out our Citation Resources Guide for help with APA, MLA, and Chicago style citations and citations tools you can use.

Staying Organized

Check out our Organization Guide for tips and tools for saving your sources and searches.

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