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Citation Assistance Resource Guide: Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a combination of two parts: the citation (in your chosen style) and a brief description of the source and how it is useful to your research. They can be used with any citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).  

Annotated bibliographies are a great way to collect your sources and determine how and why you have chosen to include them for your assignment. They help you think about the quality of the source you have chosen. 

The annotation, or description, part of the annotated bibliography is normally between 3-5 sentences, but may vary depending on what your instructor requires. Typically included in the annotation:

  1. A short summary of the source and its information.
  2. An assessment of the quality of information in the source. (Is the information reliable? What is the goal of the source? How does it compare to other resources you have collected? etc.)
  3. An evaluation of how this source will be useful for your assignment. (Has it changed your thinking of your topic? How will it help shape your argument?) 

**Keep in mind your instructor may have different guidelines for your annotation than the three listed here. Always be sure to follow the requirements given by your instructor. **

Annotated Bibliographies are structured the same way as any other Work Cited or References page. Each citation is placed in alphabetical order and has a hanging indent. The annotation directly follows the citation it is describing. 

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