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Annotated Bibliographies

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What is an annotated bibliography?

Annotated Bibliographies are created to help researchers and scholars organize and summarize the literature they plan to use in their research pursuits. Annotated bibliographies are similar to abstracts and article summaries as they describe key elements of a particular study or article. However, annotated bibliographies differ in that they provide a critique of the summarized literature. Annotated bibliographies are also useful when drafting literature reviews.

What are the components of an annotated bibliography?

Annotated Bibliographies consist of two components, a citation and an annotation

The citation should align with the citation practices of your discipline. If you need help determining which citation method to use, check out the box below.

The annotation portion of an annotated bibliography entry attempts to summarize the following components of a study, book, and/or article:

  1. The name of the authors/researchers
  2. The purpose of their study
  3. The methods they used while conducting their study
  4. The results of the study/ results presented in the article
    • Only include results that are related to the topic of your research.
  5.  The implications or future impacts of their findings and/or an evaluation of the resource's usefulness/relationship to your proposed study


Choosing the Right Citation Method

Use this chart to determine the appropriate citation style to use. The links will take you to another page, so be sure to keep this tab open as well. There may be certain formatting considerations for each citation style (font size, indenting, margin size, etc.).

Citation Method Disciplines
APA (American Psychological Association) psychology, education, and other social sciences.
ASA (American Sociological Association) Intended for authors preparing to publish in ASA journals.
Chicago (University of Chicago Press)  history, business, and some of the fine arts.
CSE (Council of Science Editors) biology and medicine.
MLA (Modern Language Association) literature, arts, and humanities.
Turabian (University of Chicago Press) history, business, and some of the fine arts.
APSA (American Political Science Association) political science

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries

Dimwitty, Walter C. A Brief History of the Urge to Sleep Through Televised National Election Returns.

SleepWalk Press, 1992.

This collection of essays pulls together research on voter apathy from the early 1960s through 1993. The variety of viewpoints represented here and the historical comparisons presented are the major strengths of this collection. A concluding chapter pulls together the author's assumptions about voter disinterest in televised election coverage and suggests possible strategies for re-engaging voters in the process.

Example from the University of North Florida: A Sample Annotated Bibliography

Bell, C., & Holder, M. (2019, January/February). The Interrelationship between Race, Social Norms, and 

Dietary Behaviors among College-attending Women. American Journal of Health Behavior

43(1), 23-36.

This article examines a study conducted to compare racial identity and dietary habits of women on college campuses. The findings of the study found that women with perceived differences and social/family norms were more likely to develop unhealthy dietary habits in college, most specifically related to fruit and vegetable consumption. This resource is useful because it examines self-perception of race and how that can impact behavior in ways that influence one's health in the future.

Example from Tiffin University : Examples - Creating an Annotated Bibliography in APA Style - Pfeiffer Library at Tiffin University

Battle, Ken. "Child Poverty: The Evolution and Impact of Child Benefits." In A Question of Commitment:  Children's

Rights in Canadaedited by Katherine Covell and Howe, R. Brian, 21-44. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier

University Press

     Ken Battle draws on a close study of government documents, as well as his own research as an extensively-published policy analyst, to explain Canadian child benefit programs.  He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children.  His comparison of child poverty rates in a number of countries is a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children.  Battle pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve to be criticized by politicians and journalists.  He outlines the NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, and laments that the Conservative government scaled it back in favour of the inferior Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).  However, he relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography.  He could make this work stronger by drawing from others' perspectives and analyses.  However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents.  This offers context for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada.

Example from Eastern Nazarene College: Sample Chicago Annotation 

Need Help?

Need help drafting your annotated bibliographies? Visit the following link to schedule a consultation with one of our subject librarians.

Make an Appointment - Library Appointments - Tulane Libraries Calendar

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