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Annotated Bibliography: Introduction

This guide will help you learn what annotated bibliographies are and how to write and format your annotated bibliography for class.

Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of your sources with description that summarizes and evaluates the source. These annotations inform readers of the accuracy and quality of the sources cited, and the relevancy of the article to the scope of the assignment/criteria. Depending on your assignment, your annotated bibliography could contain up to three elements:

  • Citations for your books, articles, or other materials.
  • A brief summary/evaluation/reflection called the annotation.
  • A brief assessment of how the source fits into the scope of the assignment/criteria.

The purpose of an Annotate Bibliography is to:

  • Illustrate the scope and quality of your research.
  • Review the literature published on your topic.
  • Provide the reader/researcher with supplementary or alternative sources.
  • Place the original research in a historical context.

Visit the Madonna University Writing Center’s Online Writing Lab to find a video and handout on how to write annotated bibliographies.  Also visit the Online Writing Lab for information on citation formats like MLA, APA, CSE, and AMA!