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ENG 21011 College Writing II (Powers): Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Click the following links to view examples of Annotated Bibliographies:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Annotated Bibliographies

Creating your Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is more than just a brief description of your resource. While it is tempting to use the article abstract in your annotated bibliography, it will not provide you with all the aspects of a well done annotated bibliography entry.

Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

    Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you're doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

This information and more can be found through the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).

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