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Research Guides

Integrated Social Sciences Program: Annotated Bibliography

Guide for the online Integrated Social Sciences program

What is an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a compilation of notes about a source alongside the source's bibliographic information. It differs from a Bibliography, References or Works Cites list that only provides only bibliographic information without any commentary. The annotation is a "note" that explains comments on, or gives your reader a sense of the important takeaways from the source, as well as your learning and use of that 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.

Citational Politics

Citations are a way of giving credit when material and thoughts 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 and learning process. Whenever you use sources such as books, journals, media, or websites in your research, give credit to the original creator by citing the source. 

Citational politics refers to the power associated in who you are citing. Who you cite gives voice and power to those thoughts, experiences and voices. Who you choose to exclude from your bibliography can further silence those voices. As you are citing and finding materials for your keyword or research topic, consider the kinds of people and experiences you would like to give power and voice to, who you would like to include in your bibliography. 


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:


  • 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?
  • How has this source helped to develop your learning and analysis?
  • Did you find the source useful? Why or why not?

Tools to Automatically Generate Citations