Annotated Bibliography
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Annotated Bibliography Print Page

Annotated Bibliographies


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) description and evaluation of the source -- the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills:  concise writing, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Second, cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Third, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme of your source.  Include:

·         An evaluation of the authority or background of the author

·         A comment on the intended audience

·         Explain how this work illuminates your research topic


The following example uses the MLA format for the journal citation.

Doyle, Eva, et al. "Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Assess Health Needs among Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers."

     American Journal of Health Education, vol. 37, no. 5, 01 Sept. 2006, pp. 279-288. EBSCOhost, 0-

The authors, professors of health studies from several universities in Texas, interviewed members of three "stake holder groups" providing healthcare to farmworkers: migrant and seasonal farmworkers, health care providers, and social service providers.  They involved paritcipants in a discussion of barrierrs to accessing healthcare, including behavioral, psychological, evironmental, economic, and other factors.  They interviews were conducted in such a way as to invite interviewees to relfect on barriers, to engage in the community being studied in the assessment of needs and capacities.  This will help me health needs of local farmworkers and how to bring farmworkers, health care providers, and social service providers together to plan for increased capacity in Santa Cruz County.

Source:  Adapted from  “The Annotated Bibliography.”  Research & Learning Services, Olin LibraryCornell University LibraryIthaca, NY, USA


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