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HIST 111 Origins of the Modern World: How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Entry and Cite Sources

Guide for Dr. Schultz's HIST 111 course

What is an annotated bibliography?

What is an annotated bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of sources used when researching a topic.  In History, the Chicago Manual of Style is used to cite sources.  An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation of an article or book. An annotated bibliography entry, includes the citation to a source as well as an summary and evaluation of that source.

What elements should be included in an annotated bibliography entry?

  1. 1. A citation of the item according to the appropriate citation style.  In History, we use the Chicago Style. Dr. Schultz will also provide you with examples to follow. 

  1. 2.  Explanation of main points and/or purpose of the work—basically, its thesis—which shows among other things that you have read and thoroughly understand the source. 

HINT:  Reading the introductory chapter of a book or the abstract of a journal article can help you determine the main points of the source.

 3. Verification or critique of the authority or qualifications of the author.


HINT : In books, information on the author’s credentials can often be found on the flap of the book cover. 


HINT:  In journal articles, information on the author can sometimes be found on the first or last page of the article 


HINT:  If this information is not available in either of these places, Googling the author's name can sometimes help find this information. 


  1. 4.  Comments on the worth, effectiveness, and usefulness of the work in terms of both the topic being researched and/or your own research project. 


  1. 5. The point of view or perspective from which the work was written. For instance, you may note whether the author seemed to have a bias or was trying to reach a particular audience.

Citations using Chicago Manual of Style

Helpful Guides on Annotated Bibliographies

Example Annotated Bibliography Entry


Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998. 


Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.