Skip to main content
Ask Us!Toggle Chat Widget

Evaluating Sources: Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?  A bibliography is a list of the sources consulted while doing research about a specific topic.  Adding annotations will help you learn about a topic in a deeper and more critical way.  It will also help you and the readers of your bibliography to evaluate the relevance of each source in relation to the research topic or question.

Common parts of an annotated bibliography:

Citation -- publication information given in a specific format usually assigned by your instructor (ex: MLA, APA, Chicago)

Annotation --

Summary -- a few sentences summarizing the source content and main points 

Assessment / Evaluation - determine the usefulness and credibility of the source  [This is always done but it is sometimes omitted from the written annotation.]

Reflection -- a few sentences summarizing how the source was helpful for your specific research topic or research question

How did the source help you understand a research topic or answer a research question?
How did the source differ from others on the topic?  What was special about it?
How did the source change or influence your thinking about the research topic?  How did it affect you?

Important Note:  not all annotated bibliographies have separate annotations; some only contain a citation and summary for each source.  Read your assignment instructions carefully.  Multiple formatting examples are shown on the Purdue OWL Writing Center website and the EasyBib website.


Short Example in MLA 8
[image from EasyBib; for educational use only] 


Short Example in APA 6
[image from EasyBib; for educational use only] 

Annotated Bibliography: Tutorial