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WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and websites. 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 and quality of the sources cited.


THE PROCESS

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 websites 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 website using the MLA 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

SAMPLE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE

Mendoza, Juan. “Latinos in Santa Cruz County.” Labor Journal of California. Winter 2013: 23-37.

      Web. 5 March 15.

In “Latinos in Santa Cruz County” Juan Mendoza describes the range of jobs Latinos work at in Santa Cruz county. Mendoza proposes that a large percentage of Latinos in Santa Cruz county work in agriculture. He also notes that many work in service industries. Mendoza writes that many Latinos are beginning their own businesses, such a family owned restaurants. The author shows that many Latinos in Santa Cruz county find employment at the minimum wage level, but that through hard work and determination many are climbing the economic ladder. Mendoza writes, “The Espinoza family owed a chain of restaurants for fifteen years, and they have expanded to Santa Clara County” (par. 12).

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

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