How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography


Annotated Bibliography and annotation is not the same thing! An annotation is more than just a summary of an article, book, website, journals, or other types of publication. An annotation should give enough information to make the reader decide whether to read the complete work. Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative passage, the annotation.

Annotated bibliography:

An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources, similar to a reference list. Each reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation, usually 100 to 200 words in length.

The significant purposes of the annotation bibliography are the following.

1. To give credit to authors whose work you have discussed in your writings.

2. To provide information to the reader to find more about the particular topic.

3. To show that you have read much about the authorities on a particular subject, it will add weight to your writing.

4. Most importantly, avoid plagiarism.


There are two major types of annotated bibliography:

1. Descriptive or informative
2. Analytical or critical

Descriptive or informative annotated bibliography describes or summarizes a source as an abstract. It portrays why the source is valuable for research on a specific topic. Moreover, it describes the author’s main arguments and conclusion without evaluating what the author says or concludes.

Analytical or informative: Analytical annotation sums up the material as well as analyzes what is being said by the author. Moreover, it examines the strengths and weaknesses of what is being presented as well as describing the applicability of the author’s work.

You have to incorporate the accompanying things while composing an annotated bibliography:-

  1. The purpose of the work: write about why the researcher has done the work about his research topic hypothesis.
  2. A summary of the content.
  3. For whom the paper is written:- to mention the targeted audience of the work.
  4. Write the relevance to the topic.
  5. Finally, write about the strengths, weaknesses, and biases in the materials.

The process or step of writing an annotated bibliography: –

§  Introduction of your research: – Firstly, find and record references to books, periodicals, and reports containing valuable data and thoughts on your topic. Briefly analyze and review the real things. At that point, pick those works that give an assortment of viewpoints on your topic.

§  Write the citation: – Cite the book, article, or document utilizing the appropriate style. You can follow an APA or MLA or Chicago citation for your entries.

§  Brief annotation: – Compose a brief annotation 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) Remark on the target group,

(c) Compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or

(d) Clarify how this work enlightens your bibliography topic.

Here is a sample of an annotated bibliography,

The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, 2019) for the journal citation:

Waite, L., Goldschneider, F., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. Additionally, they find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

Annotated B

Figure:- Marking on the part citation and annotation



1. LibGuides: How to prepare an annotated bibliography: The annotated bibliography. (2020, 22). Cornell University Research Guides – LibGuides at Cornell University.

2. LibGuides: How to write an annotated bibliography – APA (7th edition): Document formatting. (2020, August 31). LibGuides at University of Maryland Global Campus.

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