Writing an Annotated Bibliography

In Brief

Annotated Bibliography provides an organized list of citations to articles, books, websites, and documents along with a short but well descriptive annotated paragraph. These sources can be text based or they could also be online resources in the form of video clips or audio recording.  Each statement is followed by an evaluative and brief descriptive paragraph. The sole purpose of these annotations is to guide the reader of the accuracy, relevance, and quality of the sources mentioned (Corenel University 2020).

An annotated bibliography provides a number of purposes which includes following but not limited to:

  • Represent the quality of Research work that you have done
  • Provide the types of sources available in that particular subject
  • Describe other content on a topic that may be of interest to the learner
  • Inspire the reader for further research in that subject

The annotated bibliography may be comprehensive or selective in its coverage. A selective Annotated Bibliography contains only those contents that are more suitable for the subject while an exhaustive annotated bibliography tries to discover all that is available to us on a subject (Studybay 2020).


Annotations in an annotated bibliography used to perform two functions, evaluate the source and describe the source. The annotation is an accurate and concise description of a specific source, including vital aspects of content not obvious in the title. It provides opportunity to the researcher to establish the relevance of a particular journal article, research report, book, or government document, etc. and to decide whether to refer the complete text of the work. Abstracts, such as those found in individual periodical databases or those found in scholarly journal articles are generally just descriptive summaries (Dominican University 2018).

How to write a perfect annotated bibliography?

As majority of people do not have proper knowledge of drafting an annotated bibliography? Don’t worry; I have written the perfect guide that will benefit you to nail this task easily.

Follow these points conscientiously to draft annotated bibliographies in less time and submit flawless Assignments.

1. Mention about the qualifications of the writer of the source

In usual bibliographies, students only have to mention the name of the writer in the bibliography section. However, in order to write an annotated bibliography, you must mention about the qualifications of the writer of your source. This helps the future aspirant Researchers as well as professors to evaluate and analysis the credibility of your project/assignments as well.

At times, many research assignments demand the researchers to get in contact with the author directly to gather more knowledge on a particular topic. So it becomes important to select your source materials from genuine websites. Ask these questions which are mentioned below for the prior assessment of your sources:

  • Is the writer qualified enough to write on this particular subject?
  • Is the writer associated with an eminent institution in this discipline?
  • Is the writer an expert in this domain?
  • Is this the latest and reliable edition of the source?

2. Write a brief summary of your work

To score the maximum marks in the assignments, you must draft a well-crafted  summary of your overall text in the bibliography section. The main objective of including this summary is to aware the readers about the vital elements they are about to seek from the assignment. This summary also helps the readers to determine the sections whether the writer have added new Information to the Research pool apart from iterating the pre-existing information.

Attempts to summarize the core theme and scope of the article or book in this section and touch on how this research work highlights your bibliography topic.

3. Comment on the readers of your assignment

Don’t forget to discuss about the readers of your assignment in the annotated bibliography. This makes your professors understood that you know who you are writing for. Knowledge of your target audience will keep the state of affairs of your assignment precise and focused. So do not miss to check the relevancy of the context of your assignment with your target audience

Also, institutes ask you to maintain a specific format while writing your bibliographies. In case you are not sure about the various formats like MLA Chicago, APA etc. use an online annotated bibliography generator to simplify the task (Peter Redman 2013).


The sole purpose of an annotated bibliography is to work as a memory support during the research process. In writing assignment and other academic  projects, professors often use annotated bibliographies as a tool for students to check how their research work is going, but think of it as that memory support even when you’re writing assignment  for a class.

An annotated bibliography is a list of reference cited in assignment where each source has both short paragraph and a properly formatted bibliographic entry.

Annotation is that sums up the source, notes the content specifically interesting about the source and it may include a short overview of how you’ll use the source.

If you’re writing it for an assignment work then discuss with your professor to be certain of what content the professor wants (Westernsydney 2017).

Being a full version of the references page, the Annotated Bibliography could be a comprehensive list of literature utilized in the Essay or Research Paper meant to prove the author’s point. It consists of the complete references to the used sources, furthermore as their summaries, which is what makes it different from a typical bibliography.

The topics for an annotated bibliography should match the titles of the analyzed material so as to supply a close answer to the research question. Usually, the scholars are encouraged to cite two basic sorts of sources: Primary and Secondary. While secondary sources, like interview or survey, aren’t that critical, the first sources are obligatory to read and cite. They include:

  • Books and e-Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Academic journals
  • Scholarly articles
  • Websites
  • Videos

It is essential to cite and reference every source correctly. In fact, the author is required to try to do that every time they add an indirect or direct in-text citation (Barthélemy and Geyer 2005).


  1. Barthélemy, Jérôme, and Dominique Geyer. 2005. “An Empirical Investigation of IT Outsourcing versus Quasi-Outsourcing in France and Germany.” Information & Management 42(4): 533–42. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378720604000503.
  2. Corenel University. 2020. “How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography.” http://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography.
  3. Dominican University. 2018. “How to Write an Annotated Bibliography.” http://libanswers.dominican.edu/Reference/faq/8408.
  4. Peter Redman. 2013. “Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide (SAGE Study Skills Series).” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Essay-Writing-Study-Skills/dp/0857023713.
  5. 2020. “Annotated Bibliography Writing Help Online.” https://contentwriting.expert/?ref=ebeacd89cdbf3462&utm_campaign=Blondinka_US_AnnotatedBibliography_2_WEB&utm_term=writing an annotated bibliography&type_id=14&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzNP8tL_76AIVwYaPCh1h8AojEAAYASAAEgL_VfD_BwE.
  6. 2017. Annotated Bibliography. https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/1340450/Annotated_bibliography.pdf.

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