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Writing the Annotated Bibliography: Format

What is an annotated bibliography? How do you write one? What purpose does it serve?

Anatomy of an Annotated Bibliography


Your annotated bibliography requires that you:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.

 

  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?

 

  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

 

Purdue Owl Writing Lab (2019). Annotated Bibliographies / Purdue Writing Lab. Retrieved March 6, 2019, from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/index.html

Examples of what your annotated bibliography should not look like:

Marieb, Elaine N. (1992).Human Anatomy and Physiology Redwood City, CA: The Benjamin/ Cummings Co.

I use this book to get the basic information about arthritis, it was very informative.

Keefe FJ., (1996) Pain in Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 24, 279-290.

I got all the facts about exercising with arthritis and the different types of exercise.

Content adapted from Writing an Annotated Bibliography: Tips [https://rwu.libguides.com/annotatedbibliography]

What to include:

A typical annotation contains the following information in approximately 150 words:

Content adapted from Creating Annotated Bibliographies: Pieces of an Annotation [https://libguides.library.kent.edu/c.php?g=277939&p=1853357]

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries

The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010) for the journal citation:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & 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. 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.

This example uses MLA style (MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation:

Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 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. 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.

 

Attribution: Research & Learning Services; Olin Library; Cornell University Library; Ithaca, NY, US https://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/services/research/guides/use

Tips

Tips for Writing

  • Write about one source at a time
  • Answer these questions in COMPLETE SENTENCES
    • ​What is the main or most significant idea of this source?
    • What is the author trying to do?
    • Who do you think the author's intended audience is?
  • Write SHORT paragraphs.
  • Write 5-8 sentences that accurately describe the information and ideas from each source.  

SIUC Writing Center- www.siu.edu/~write