This is the "Bibliographies Basics" page of the "Annotated Bibliographies" guide.
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Annotated Bibliographies  

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Bibliographies Basics Print Page


biblio = book

graph = write

(all images from royalty-free unless otherwise noted)


Annotated Bibliographies Basics


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, Web sites and other resources.  The list is in alphabetical order by author (title if there is no author). Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph--the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader (often your instructor!) of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Use the Library’s online catalog (now incorporated in our Primo "one-search" tool), databases and other researching tools (including the librarians themselves!) to locate materials that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items and choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic to include in your annotated bibliography.

Cite the book, article, Web page, film, etc. using the appropriate style, usually MLA (for English and humanities course) or APA (for sciences and social sciences).   Need the basics on how to cite a source?  Use the Library’s guide “How Do I…” Cite my Sources.

Write a concise annotation (Origin: < L annotatus, pp. of annotare < ad-, to + notare, to note, mark) that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.  Your annotation is indented to the right under your citation--see the samples in the next tab.


Permission granted to reproduce/adapt content granted by: 

  Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA


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