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FYS101- Family Matters: What is an Annotated Bibliography?

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography resembles a works cited page because it will list properly cited sources about a topic in alphabetical order by author last name or source title.  What makes it different than your works cited page is the inclusion of annotations written by you below each citation in the list.

There are two main types of Annotations:

  1. Summary Annotations in which the writer identities the main arguments, topics, and conclusions of the source and summarizes them in your own words without quoting the source.  No evaluation is done.
  2. Critical/Evaluative Annotations in which the writer starts with the same content as a summary annotation, but looks more critically at the biases, evidence, etc., of the source and the author.  Examination of the author's expertise can be done as part of this.  The writer then explains how the source will be useful in their own research project.

In this class your professor expects a Critical/Evaluative Annotation using the CRAAP rubric below.

Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography

  1. Consider which sources would be the most useful for your topic.  You do not need to include everything especially things that demonstrate the same types of information.
    1. Consider how it relates to your topic, is it general summary or original research?
    2. How current is the information?
  2. Create citations for your sources, check to make sure they are correct, use the Citation Help link to the right or the Citation Help- MLA tab on this guide to create and check your citations.
  3. Read each source and identify arguments and conclusions.
  4. Identify what type of source you are using, ex: newspaper, photograph, infographic, journal article, etc., as part of your annotation. 
  5. Summarize the source and author's point of view.
  6. Examine the source for credibility.  Research the author or authors for biases and expertise. Examine and evaluate their evidence and conclusions.  Are they valid? 
  7. Reflect on the source.  How does it relate to your research?  How can you use it?


Additional Resources