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An annotated bibliography is a list of books, articles and other sources used in your research. Each entry in an annotated bibliography has two parts:

“Annotated Bibliography.” The Writing Center. 2003. University of Wisconsin, Madison.5 March 2004 .

However, an entry in an annotated bibliography by definition includes a summary of the original author's work. The reader already understands that your recap represents another person's "work or ideas." In this situation further citations are not necessary, though if you are writing an evaluative annotation your assessment of the author's work is expected to be your own original work.

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This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS. An annotated bibliography is a list of citations related to a particular topic or theme that include a brief descriptive and/or evaluative summary. The annotated bibliography can be arranged chronologically by date of publication or alphabetically by author, with citations to print and/or digital materials, such as, books, newspaper articles, journal articles, dissertations, government documents, pamphlets, web sites, etc., and multimedia sources like films and audio recordings.

In summary, a good annotated bibliography...

The key to a successful annotated bibliography is to be concise; since each entry's commentary is brief, you need to select the information carefully. Determine the source's central idea(s) and be concise in conveying that information. An entry to an annotated bibliography is not an appropriate time to go into great depth or detail. Primarily, you want to give the reader a general idea of what the source is about. This will require the ability both to determine what is central and to write about the ideas concisely and objectively.


You have just been given an assignment to write an annotated bibliography. Before you begin, you need to know what exactly an annotated bibliography is and how to get started.A descriptive or informative annotated bibliography describes or summarizes a source as does an abstract, it describes why the source is useful for researching a particular topic or question, its distinctive features. In addition, it describes the author's main arguments and conclusions without evaluating what the author says or concludes.An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources (like a reference list). It differs from a straightforward bibliography in that each reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation, usually 100–200 words in length.Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.