Annotated Bibliography
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Last Updated: Nov 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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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, articles, 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 APA citation.

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 APA format for the journal citation.

Research Topic  Hijras of India

Kalra, G., Gupta, S., and Bughra, D. (2010). Sexual variation in India: a view from the West.

     Indian Journal of Psychiartry, 52 (suppl.), 264-268. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.69244

This article presents a discussion of how the perspective of Indian psychiatry is and should be changing regarding hijras and sexual variation in India. In the post-colonial period, revisionist history has attempted to erase the presence of gender and sexual variation and pathologize its expression in individuals. Kalra et al. set out to discuss how hijras have been presented in Indian history and how contemporary homosexuality has come to be medicalized in Indian society. The historical record, including scriptures, clearly demonstrate that the presence of sexual and gender variation in India is not a product of colonialism or Western influence but that was present in India well before the colonial period and that attitudes toward were rather ambivalent, sometimes merely tolerant, other time more celebratory. Depictions of same-sex sexual behavior appear as long ago as 50-75CE in Buddhist pillar carvings. In addition to the historical perspective, this review includes a discussion of contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality in India and other countries, highlighting how the criminalization and medicalization of same-sex sexual behavior is being challenged by psychiatrists. The authors explicitly argue that Indian psychiatrists, as agents of social change, have a responsibility to promote acceptance of sexual variation. This article is relevant to my poster because it discusses the history of sexual variation in India, as well as contemporary issues.

Source:  Adapted from  “The Annotated Bibliography.”  Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library


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