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University Library

Annotated Bibliography

Format

The format of an annotated bibliography is standardized. You must do the following things:

  1. Cite your sources using an approved citation style (e.g. APA, IEEE, MLA etc.). Make sure to check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class.
  2. Your citation is followed by an annotation. This annotation can be as short as one sentence, but is typically between three to six sentences, roughly 150 words in length. 

Things to consider for each annotation

For each source each annotation should include the following:

  1. What is the main purpose and scope of the cited work
  2. A brief description of how the text is organized. What are the main divisions or sections? What is emphasized? Why? 
  3. Theoretical basis and relevance of the author's argument
  4. Author's credentials
  5. Intended audience
  6. Value and significance of the work to the subject or topic
  7. Shortcomings or bias in the work
  8. Your own brief impression of the work

Although these are many of the same features included in a literature review, the emphasis should be on brevity.