Skip to Main Content

Annotated Bibliography

Chat loading...

Get Help

Visit the help desk or schedule an appointment with a reference librarian to discuss your research. See our contact page for details.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources with a short summary/evaluation of each called an annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to give the reader a general idea of the source's content and to state its relevance to the topic or field of study. The requirements for these assignments are generally set by instructors, but the sources should be listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name and follow a specific citation style such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Format

Citation

The citation should follow the bibliographic style requested by your instructor. It will follow the same formatting guidelines of the style, such as APA, or MLA. For more information please refer to the Citation & Style Guide.

Annotation

The annotation follows the citation and is typically 150-300 words, however, the length will depend on the purpose along with the assignment requirements. Depending on the assignment, the annotation could include a simple summary of the source, or, it might include an analysis of the source.

Depending on the type of annotated bibliography you're writing, you'll want to include some or all of the following points in your annotations:

  •     Main focus or purpose of the work
  •     Usefulness or relevance to your research topic 
  •     Special features of the work that were unique or helpful
  •     Background and credibility of the author
  •     Conclusions or observations reached by the author
  •     Conclusions or observations reached by you

 

 

Annotation Examples

The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, 2019) for a 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(4), 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, 9th edition, 2021) for the journal citation. For additional annotation guidance from MLA, see 5.132: Annotated Bibliographies.

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.

 

Created by Research & Learning Services Olin Library, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA  https://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography/home and used under Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Feather Icon
Selkirk College acknowledges the traditional territories of the Sinixt (Lakes), the Syilx (Okanagan), the Ktunaxa and the Secw├ępemc (Shuswap) Peoples.
Selkirk College Logo