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English Composition II - ENGL 1020 - Dr. Whelan

Why Write an Annotated Bibliography

This page will help students create an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is different from a regular bibliography or works cited page.

Writing an annotated bibliography will help think about which source you should choose for your research paper. Your annotated bibliography will include one citation and one paragraph of notes (an annotation) for each of your sources.

This guide and video contain directions and tips for creating an annotated bibliography.

How to Write Your Annotations

An annotation is a short note — normally 1 paragraph — that tells the reader important information about each of your sources. Note these three things in each of your annotations:

  1. A comment on the author’s credentials, or an explanation of how they are involved with your topic (as a reporter, scholar, participant, etc.)
  2. A brief summary of what the source is about and a note about the type of source it is (investigative reporting, scholarly research, etc.)
  3. An explanation of how the source relates to your research topic, or how it relates to your other sources


Tips and Help

These resource can help you write your annotations:

  • Search online to find the credentials of your secondary source authors. What advanced degrees do they have? Do they teach at a college or university?
  • If one of your sources is a book, book reviews can quickly tell if the book will be helpful for your research - often times in less than 1 page. Search for book reviews in the Academic Search Complete and JSTOR databases.
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