An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents and follows the appropriate style format for the discipline, i.e., MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Unlike abstracts which are 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.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research
o evaluate the authority or background of the author,
o comment on the intended audience,
o compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
o explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.
The annotation should include most, if not all, of the following:
An annotated bibliography is an original work created by you for a wider audience, usually faculty and colleagues. Copying any of the above elements is plagiarism and intellectual dishonesty.
Examples of Annotated Bibliographies:
The following examples use APA format for a journal and a book citation:
Goldschneider, F. K., Waite, L. J., & 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
Graybosch, A., Scott, G.M. & Garrison, S. (1998).The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual.
Designed to serve as either as a writing guide or as a primary textbook for teaching philosophy through writing, the Manual is an excellent resource for students new to philosophy. Like other books in this area, the Manual contains sections on grammar, writing strategies, introductory informal logic and the different types of writing encountered in various areas of philosophy. Of particular note, however, is the section on conducting research in philosophy. The research strategies and sources of information described there are very much up-to-date, including not only directories and periodical indexes, but also research institutes, interest groups and Internet resources.
Examples of What Your Bibliography Should Not Look Like:
Marieb, Elaine N. (1992).Human Anatomy and Physiology
Keefe FJ., (1996) Pain in Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 24,279-290