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Writing Annotated Bibliographies: Types of Annotations

Guide to writing an annotated bibliography: Why and how. Great preparation for writing a literature review.

ALWAYS check with your professor first

These are suggestions only.

Check with your professor -- what do they expect in your annotations?

Read your assignment carefully for information!

Informative/Descriptive Annotation

Descriptive Annotated Bibliographies only require you to summarize the source, letting the reader know the most interesting or important aspects of the book.

Write out the citation, following the appropriate style guide (APA, MLA, or Chicago, etc.)

Summarize the source.

Evaluative/Critical/Analytical Annotations

Start with a short summary of the article: 1 or 2 sentences.

Then give information that places the resource within the scholarly context or evaluates its usefulness or quality.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and to answer in your annotation. You only need to address 1 or 2 for each annotation. Choose one that applies to the source you're looking at.

  • Who is the author? What are their qualifications?
  • How does this source address similar questions in other sources?
  • Who is the intended audience? Is it you?
  • Is this a seminal article that everyone who writes on this topic reads? Has it been cited many times in the literature?
  • Does the evidence support the author's conclusions?
  • What is missing in the author's argument or research?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the source?
  • How do you intend to use this source in your paper?

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Conrad Woxland
Charles J. Keffer Library | MOH 206F
Subjects: Education, Psychology