Annotated Bibliography Guide: Definition and Formats

An annotated bibliography is a descriptive and evaluative list of citations for books, articles, or other documents.

Definition and Formats

Definition

An annotated bibliography is a descriptive and evaluative list of citations for books, articles, or other documents. Each citation is followed by a brief paragraph - the annotation - alerting the reader to the accuracy, quality, and relevance of that source.

Composing an annotated bibliography helps a writer to gather one's thoughts on how to use the information contained in the cited sources, and helps the reader to decide whether to pursue the full context of the information you provide.


Annotations vs. Abstracts:

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

 

Format of the Bibliography

All of the citations in an annotated bibliography should be formatted according to one chosen style such as MLA, APA, CSE or Chicago. See the side box for manuals in the library.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library