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Last Updated: Nov 30, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

An Annotated Bibliography Print Page

What is an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography has summaries and notes on sources you have found in your research.

You should include:

  • The main ideas of the source
  • Questions or comments about the argument’s or author’s credibility
  • Key points or quotes that you might include in your PIP
  • Whether or not the source will be useful in your PIP


An annotated bibliography is designed to give an overview of research on a your PIP topic. It might be selective, choosing just a few representative sources. Or, it might be comprehensive, designed to summarise all of the major findings on a topic. Either way, the sources should be reliable, high quality ones. 

You should look for scholarly sources published in academic journals and by authorative publishers or established, reputable websites.

You will want to create an annotated bibliography as a series of entries. At the start of each entry, give the full citation for the work. Then, follow up with your annotations that summarize and evaluate your sources, in paragraph form. Generally, annotations should be no more than 150 words (or 4-6 sentences long). They should be concise and well-written. Annotated bibliographies are arranged alphabetically, so that they are ordered based on the authors’ last names.

A Google Doc is the best place for you to create and store your work.


An Introduction to An Annotated Bibliogrpahy


Sample Annotation 1



Scrible can be used by installing a chrome extension and once that is installed, it can be accessed by pressing the red ‘s’ icon in the browser to pull up the scrible toolbar. This tool is targeted mainly at students. The annotations can be arranged in libraries and thus works well as a research tool. Scrible allows searching through saved items via a text search that indexes all annotations and bookmarks. These can be further filtered into webpages, bookmarks, papers, and documents. Annotations saved can also be shared via social media or permalink. Pro users can use tags to sort items.

Pricing: Plans for Scrible are sorted based on storage space used. The Basic and Edu plans are free while the Edu Pro plan is priced at $10 per year for primary & secondary schools



Step to Writing a Bibliography














Step 1: Cite your source in proper APA citation style

Each of your entries will begin with a full bibliographic entry.

Here’s an example created to show you what the citation will look like.

APA format


Step 2: Summarize the source

A summary explains the main ideas of the source.

Someone else should be able to read your summary and know exactly what the source is about.

Here’s an example of what a summary of an article might look like.

Robertson’s article argues that fairy tales are important because they teach children moral tales of right and wrong and provide children an outlet for their emotions. Fairy tales also allow children to develop their imagination and critical thinking as they journey with characters to magical lands.


Step 3: Evaluate the source

Here’s your chance to write a brief paragraph or two to tell readers what you think of the source and how it fits into your own research. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the author credible?
  • What did I like or not like about the source?
  • Are the arguments effective?
  • Does the author support her arguments?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses?
  • How might I incorporate this source into my paper?

Answering these types of questions will help you formulate an effective critique and evaluation of each source.

Here’s an example of what your evaluation might look like.

Dr. Robertson is a well-known children’s psychologist who also has elementary education experience. Her articles are published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, and her work is considered credible.

The article will be an excellent source for my paper because it includes recent studies about children’s appreciation for fairy tales and features a detailed discussion of why fairy tales are beneficial to children. Robertson even includes interviews with children that I may be able to use in my introduction.

So, in three easy steps, you have an annotated bibliography.

(From ˙How to Write an Annotated Bibliography)


Resources to Help You Write Your Annotated Bibliography

Useful Resources to Help Write an Annotated Bibliography

Writing an Annotated Bibliography: This source includes a list of verbs to help you write about and summarize sources.

Tips on Writing an Annotated Bibliography: This source from UNE includes an overview of how to write an annotated bibliography and examples of how to write annotations. There are some great tips on thw style of writing required.


Sample Annotation 2



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