Annotated Bibliographies

November 10, 2022 Jun
Annotated Bibliographies

What Do You Need To Know About Annotated Bibliographies?

An extended bibliography also called an annotated bibliography, is a list of the books, journal articles, movies, and other works you used for your research. An annotation is added to the annotated bibliography that describes and rates the qualities and value of each of the works listed. When added commentary gives the reader or researcher access to important information that can be used to do more research. When you finish the annotated bibliography, you will have finished your last academic essay.

This guide will talk about some of the most important parts of an annotated bibliography, like what it is, its purpose structure, and how to format and add it.

What Is Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography or an annotated bib is a list of books or other works, or a bibliography, that includes comments about how the sources were used and what they were about. Notes like these could also be called annotations. In the annotated bibliography for a literary theme, each source you use will have a citation, an annotation, a summary, and an analysis. An annotated bibliography can also have a paragraph that introduces your topic and the goals of your research.

Your sources of information can be set up in one of two ways:
  • like a list of references, but in alphabetical order;
  • in terms of the “important texts” or “important points” of view in the chosen study topic.

The Types Of Annotated Bibliographies

Informative Or Descriptive

Informative or descriptive

An abstract explains or summarises a source, while a descriptive or informative annotated bibliography samples describes or summarises the source and points out what makes it useful for studying a certain topic or issue. Also, it summarises the key points of the author’s arguments and conclusions without criticizing them.

Analytical or Critical

Analytic or critical

An analytical or critical annotation bibliography samples not only summarise the content but also evaluates it. It talks about the pros and cons of the presentation and how well the author’s findings fit with the ongoing study. Most likely, a college-level writing assignment will ask for analytical or critical notes.

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The Purpose Of An Annotated Bibliography 

The main purpose or goal is to;
  • Analyze the books about a subject to learn more about it. 
  • Summarise the most important topics, arguments, and research in a certain field
  • Explain any possible differences between interpretations and theoretical points of view on the topic, as well as any criticisms of common points of view.
  • Figure out how the data sources fit together.
  • encourage you to spend more time with certain sources so you can get better at analyzing and critiquing what you read.
  • An annotated bibliography is sometimes given as a test before writing an essay or as a test at the beginning of a research project to get you to look over and think about what has already been learned about your topic. It could also be given to you as a separate project to help you improve your research and thinking skills.

Structure Of Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is made up of a reference, which is called a citation at some colleges, and a note. It’s important to remember that what should be in the reference and annotation depends on the subject, so it’s important to check with your instructor or the assignment instructions to see what is expected.

Annotated Bibliography = Reference + Annotation

The parts you have to include and the structures you need vary from unit to unit. This includes the number and type of sources, how to cite them, and what you need to discuss in the annotation. The annotation also requires a descriptive summary and a critical reading, which means analyzing and judging the text:

  • to decide if the source material is relevant to your topic, to recognize the contribution it makes, and to talk about its pros and cons.
  • It’s important to carefully go over the exact requirements of the task so you know what’s needed.

How should a bibliography with notes be written?

Most students ask themselves How should I set up my annotated bibliography example?

In an annotated bibliography, each entry is made up of two parts: a citation and a note.


The citation has to be put together according to the bibliographic rules that your professor gave you for the assignment. APA, MLA, and Chicago are examples of well-known formats for citing sources. For more information, please see the Style Guides page.


Most annotation bibliography is between 100 and 300 words long (one paragraph). Since your professor may have different expectations, you should make sure everyone understands what is expected of them. In an annotation, you could include any of the following:
  • A brief look at the source
  • What are the pros and cons of the source?
  • What it found and why it’s important to your field of study
  • Connections to relevant research from the past
  • A look at how the study was set up (if applicable)
  • Information about the author’s background
  • Your thoughts about the source
You may want to ask yourself questions about the material to help you write a good annotation bibliography for it. Some of these questions might include the following:
  • What are the main points of the book or article?
  • How do you feel about the information? No matter if you agree or disagree,
  • What can’t be done with the work?
  • How is this source different from others that talk about the same subject? What do they have in common and/or how do they differ?
  • How does this source connect to other points of view on the same topic?
  • Did this source teach you something you hadn’t already thought about or read about?
  • Who wrote the work? Who owns it? What do they have to back them up?
  • Why does knowing this information help? to what end? Who is it for? Is there enough correct information? If not, what is missing?


Why do we use annotated bibliographies in research?

u003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eYou should cite your sources and make a general bibliography to show that you have done enough research to back up your claims and arguments. Annotated bibliographies include extra information about the sources that give a general idea of what they are.u003c/spanu003e

What is an annotation bibliography example?

u003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eEven though the APA style can be used for any article in an academic journal, it is most often used in scientific and technical writing. The reference to the source comes first in APA format, then the annotation. u003c/spanu003e

u003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eThe wholeu003c/spanu003eu003cbu003e annotation bibliography example u003c/bu003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eis set back from the line.u003c/spanu003e
tu003cliu003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003e Baker (1995). Stevenson Learning Law Review, 45(2), pages 180–193, talks about you and gun control.u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e

What is the easiest way to write an annotated bibliography?

tu003cli style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eLocate and note citations to sources of study that may include information u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e
tu003cli style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eThoughts on your subject as you choose your sources.u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e
tu003cli style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003e Examine the goods you have gathered throughout your hunt.u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e
tu003cli style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003e Use the appropriate style when writing the citation. u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e
tu003cli style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eu003cspan style=u0022font-weight: 400u0022u003eConstruct the annotation.u003c/spanu003eu003c/liu003e

Why bibliographies are still important?

Whether you are writing an article, a book, a research paper, or a thesis, your bibliography is u003cbu003ean essential tool for communicating crucial information to your readersu003c/bu003e: First, by providing full details of every source you used, you enable your readers to find those books and read them, if they so choose.