LEO LEO: Literacy Education Online

Annotated Bibliography


A bibliography or works cited provides readers with the author, title and publication details of a source, whereas an annotated bibliography adds a brief summary, or annotation, about each source (book, magazine, journal, etc.). Placed just below the facts of the publication, the annotation describes the content of the work so that future reference to the entry by a researcher will provide essential data.

When writing the annotation, provide enough information in approximately three to five sentences for readers to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the source's purpose, content, and special value. Be sure to use complete sentences and to avoid wordiness.

Process for Writing an Annotated Bibliography

  1. List the completed bibliographical citation.
  2. Explain the main purpose of the work.
  3. Briefly describe the content.
  4. Indicate the possible audience for the work.
  5. Evaluate the relevance of the information.
  6. Note any special features.
  7. Warn readers of any defect, weakness, or bias.


Write an Annotated Bibliography for

General Guidelines for Formatting Bibliographical Citations

For more information on MLA style, see http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/mla.html.

Shorter Works

Annotations take different forms, depending on the type of source and on the audience. Articles are often argumentative; in these instances, the writer should incorporate the author's position on the particular issue being addressed. The writer may choose to include quotes and/ or references to individuals or to specific experiments for emphasis.

Examples

Dembart, Lee. "Fears on DNA Studies Fade, but Won't Die," Los Angeles Times, April 12,

Howard, Ted, and Jeremy Rifkin. Who Should Play God? New York: Dell 1977. This

Longer Works

In longer works, the material may often be more referential than argumentative in nature. In these cases, the writer may choose to give a brief chapter-by-chapter sketch or to focus on one or two chapters. The focus of the annotation is dependent upon the focus of the paper.

Examples

Taylor, Monica and Mal Leicester. Ethics, Ethnicity and Education. Bristol, PA: Taylor

Pederson, Jane Marie. Between Memory and Reality: Family and Community in Rural

Franklin, P. Beyond Student Financial Aid: Issues and Options for Strengthening Support


General Guidelines for Formatting Bibliographical Citations

MLA

Books with one author

Books with more than one author

Articles

APA

Books with one author

Books with more than one author

(First)Author's last name, Author's first initial and middle initial if given, (Second)
    Author's last name, Author's first initial and middle initial if given (Year). Title of Book:
    Subtitle. City: Publisher. Annotation.

Article, one author, continuous pagination

Author's last name, author's first initial and middle initial if given (Year). Title of article
    (no quotation marks). Journal Name, volume number, page(s). Annotation.

Article, two authors, separate pagination

(First) Author's last name, author's first initial and middle if given, (Second)
    Author's last name, author's second initial and middle initial if given (Year). Title of article
    (no quotation marks). Journal Name, volume number (issue number), page(s). Annotation.

(First) Author's last name, Author's first initial and middle initial if given, (Second)

    Author's last name, Author's first initial and middle initial if given (Year).
    Title of Book: Subtitle. City: Publisher. Annotation.

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© 2000 The Write Place
LEO:  Literacy Education Online

The print handout was revised and then redesigned for the Web by Thomas Tate for the Write Place, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, and may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.

Last update: 25 May 2000

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/MLA.html