An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (books, articles, websites, documents, etc.) relating to a topic which includes a note summarizing and/or evaluating the content of each source in addition to the citation.
Sources should be listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the lead author, according to the rules of the documentation style required by your assignment (e.g. MLA9 or APA7).
An annotation is a brief, comprehensive—and sometimes evaluative—summary of the contents of a source. A good annotation is:
Accurate—reflects the purpose and content of the article
Self-Contained—defines abbreviations, acronyms, and unique terms
Concise & Specific—makes each sentence maximally informative and can be roughly 40-120 words
Coherent & Readable—written in clear prose, with active rather than passive voice, and verbs rather than noun equivalents
Depending on your project or assignment, your annotations may do one or both of the following:
Summarize—Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main points of the book or article? Which topics are covered? How would you describe it?
Evaluate—After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. How useful is it? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is it reliable? Is it biased or objective? What is its goal?
Cite the book, article, or document using the MLA style (see next page).
Write a concise (40-120 words) annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that:
This downloadable has the information from this page organized for printing or accessibility software.
Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are frequently descriptive and evaluative exposing the author’s point of view, clarity and authority.