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Annotated Bibliographies

Recommended steps for writing an annotated bibliography

  1. Review what an annotated bibliography is
  2. Review your assignment and seek clarification from your instructor if needed
  3. Search and gather resources. 
  4. Read and analyze literature resources
  5. For annotated bibliographies that are both descriptive and evaluative (see below), include:
    1. Citation appropriate to your assignment or discipline. This provides information on where to find the information again.
    2. A Summary or analysis which provides information on what the source is about.
    3. An Assessment which provides information on why this information is good information.
    4. A Reflection which provides information on how you will use the information to support your research.
  6. Format your annotated bibliography correctly

Photos of friends hiking with explanations of the parts of an annotated bibliography

Annotated Bibliographies Video

This video discusses annotated bibliographies, including:

  • What is an annotated bibliography?
  • How an annotated bibliography can help the research process
  • Types of annotated bibliographies (descriptive, informative, evaluative, combination)
  • Parts of an annotation (summary, assess, reflect)

How to Embed This Tutorial in Blackboard:

  1. How to Embed This Tutorial in Blackboard:

  2. Select and copy (Ctrl+C) all of the following Embed Code text:
    <iframe title="Citation Management and Citation Tracing" width="640" height="360" allowTransparency="true" mozallowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="background-color:transparent;" frameBorder="0" src=""></iframe>
  3. In Blackboard, create and name an Item (or any other Blackboard tool that includes the standard Text Editor) 
  4. Click the HTML button at the bottom right of the Tool Buttons to open the HTML editor 
  5. Paste (Ctrl+V) the embed code within the HTML window and click Update and Submit. 

Link to VidGrid Video:

Common Questions about Annotated Bibliographies

What is a bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of books, articles, and other information resources about a subject. The Works Cited or References page that you include in papers or presentations is one type of bibliography.

What is an annotation?

Annotation is another word for note- so if you annotate a bibliography you are adding notes to it. 

What is the purpose of an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography lets you, the author, and other researchers, obtain a focused and critical summary of the subject and important resources to use in research.

What are the different types of annotated bibliographies?

  • Descriptive annotations provide a summary of the work.  
  • Evaluative annotations criticize or include value judgments of the work.
  • Combination annotations summarize and evaluate the work.

How long is an annotation?

Check your assignment, but most annotated are 100-200 words, or about a paragraph of 5-6 sentences.