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Annotated Bibliographies: Evaluative Annotations

Guidelines for Preparing an Annotated Bibliography

What is an Evaluative Annotation?

Evaluative annotations (also known as "critical" annotations) summarize the essential ideas in a document and provide judgments—negative, positive, or both—about their quality. Evaluative annotations are typically three to four sentences long. Evaluative annotations usually begin with broad comments about the focus of the source then moves to more details. Your comments should move from the details of the text to your evaluation of the source.

Evaluative annotations may contain the following type of information:

  • The importance of the work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • The author’s bias or tone
  • The author’s qualifications for writing the work
  • The accuracy of the information in the source
  • Limitations or significant omissions
  • The work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • Comparison with other works on the topic

Evaluative Annotation: Examples

*Examples follow MLA format. For other documentation formats (e.g., Chicago and APA), please consult one of the links in the Examples of Annotations on the Web box or a writing consultant, a handbook, a citation guide or a librarian.

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