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Annotated Bibliographies: Summative Annotations

Guidelines for Preparing an Annotated Bibliography

What is a Summative Annotation?

Summative annotations (also known as "informative" annotations) provide only a summary of the author's main ideas. Summative annotations are typically two to three sentences long and include no statements of the source’s relevance to your paper or critical remarks evaluating the source’s quality. 

Summative annotations may include the following type of information:

  • The hypothesis of the work
  • The methodology of the work
  • The author's main points
  • The conclusion or results of the work

Summative Annotation: Examples

image of three example citations with summative annotations

*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.