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Introduction to Human Development & Family Studies: Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies are descriptive and evaluative lists of resources. They may include citations to books, journal/magazine articles, web sites, or other materials. Annotated bibliographies start with a citation which is followed by a brief paragraph (the annotation, normally around 150 words) that describes and also evaluated the information.

In addition to the brief paragraph that evauates the article or website, you must also include information on how you found the items. For example which database did you find the article in and what keywords did you use.

Annotations are different than abstracts! Abstracts are only descriptive summaries of resources. Annotations are descriptive as well as critical; they look at the point of view of the author, clarity, authority, and usefulness of the source. 

Dos and don'ts of writing annotated bibliographies!


  • Summarize the central theme/scope of the article
  • Explain how this resource ties into the purpose or idea of your project
  • Do include information on the author


  • Do not write a "thumbs-up/thumbs-down review
  • Do not skim the article, read it carefully before writing
  • Do not plagiarize
  • Do not copy and paste the abstract

Librarian for EHHS

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Vanessa Earp
Room 510 University Libraries

Librarian for the College of Education, Health, & Human Services. Associate Professor