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English Composition--Annotated Bibliography Page

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by an annotation: a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph. The annotation informs the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Steps to Creating an Annotated Bibliography

1. Locate and record citations of peer reviewed articles that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

2. Cite the article using the appropriate style.

3. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the 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.

For more information, see:


Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

Sample Annotation

A note on formatting: Review your assignment or check with your professor to find out how to format your annotated bibliography.

Example: Annotated Bibliography