Annotated bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of references, in which each citation is followed by a brief paragraph. The paragraph summarizes and critically evaluates the source - a book, article, website, report, etc.

The list of references (bibliography) and accompanying paragraphs (annotations) inform readers about the best research available on a specific topic or theme.

Each annotation is generally about 150 words, or 5-7 sentences, and should:

  • summarize and analyze content and conclusions
  • evaluate the relevancy, accuracy, and quality of a source

Citations are formatted in a specific style, such as APA or MLA.

The number of annotations depends on the scope of your project; ask your instructor for specific details, including what citation style to use.

Example of annotation (using APA style)

Holle, M. (2008). Zombieproof! Undead disaster planning for academic libraries.

Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Meg Holle, librarian and zombie scholar, serves both fields in this treatise on zombie attack disaster planning for libraries. Though targeting academic libraries, her surveys of how building design affects strategic positioning (for zombie prevention, horde dispersal, and quarantine activities) could easily be applied to public libraries or other university and civic buildings. Unlike many zombie survival guides, Holle makes the crucial distinction between "fast" and "slow" zombies, structuring the book and her arguments accordingly. This is especially useful for point-of-need, quick lookup. She also includes several instructive diagrams, example floor plan repurposing and readiness checklists. Despite otherwise inclusiveness, Holle disparages the theory of zombie infection or inhabitation by extraterrestrial beings. As a result Zombieproof! does not address the issues of zombie-alien warfare and associated complications (e.g., limb regeneration or mind-controlled "smart" zombies).

Annotated bibliographies (1:01 min)