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Research Guides

What is an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a compilation of annotations alongside the bibliographic information for each source. It differs from a Bibliography, References or Works Cites list that provides only bibliographic information without any commentary. The annotation is a "note" that explains or comments on a source. 

An annotated bibliography has two parts:

1. The citations. For the ISS program, these will either be in MLA or APA format.

2. The annotations. Each citation is followed by a summary/evaluation of each source citation.

Citations

Citations are a way of giving credit when material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again-- an important roadmap to your research process. Whenever you use sources suc as books, journals, media, or websites in your research, you must give credit to the original creator by citing the source. 

‚ÄčDifferent subject disciplines call for citation information to be written in specific orders with varying capitalization and punctuation. There are therefore many different styles and format. In the ISS program, you will be expected to use MLA Style and APA Style. This is the basic style for each. Use the menu on the left or click on each style below for a more comprehensive look.

MLA Style:

Joseph, Ralina L. Transcending Blackness: From the New Millenium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial. Durham, M.C.: Duke UP, 2013. Web.

APA Style:

Joseph, R. (2013). Transcending blackness: From the new millenium mulatta to the exceptional multiracial. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

*See the UW Libraries Citation Styles Guide for more example citations

Annotations

Annotations for each citation are written in paragraph form and can vary in length. A simple summary may only be several sentences, and an extensive analysis may be several paragraphs. Generally, the annotations have two parts:

Summary:

  • What is the overall point of the work?
  • What are the main arguments, and what themes are covered? 
  • How are the arguments presented?

Critical Analysis:

  • How can the source be used, and how does it fit into what you are learning about social science theory?
  • Compare sources with one another, what is unique about each source?
  • Did you find the source useful? Why or why not?

What does an annotation look like?

Sample Entry from an annotated bibliography

Example annotation from Lloyd Sealy Library

Resources