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Citation Help

Citation assistance for other formats.

What is an Annotated Bibliography

More on Annotated Bibliographies from the OWL at Purdue

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue is the online bible of citation style, so check out their description and examples. 

Annotated Bibliographies from the OWL

How to Create an Annotation

Annotated bibiographies are designed to help you be selective about your sources. They encourage you to find, summarize, and evaluate only the best sources on your topic and prepare you to more easily organize your paper.

Basically, it's a reference page or works cited page with a short paragraph describing each source. 

There are three parts to an annotated entry in a bibliography:

  1. citation for the source done in the chosen citation style (APA, MLA, etc.)
  2. summary of the source: one or two sentences describing the source: what information it covers, and the purpose of the source.
  3. An evaluation of the source: this can include an assessment of the expertise of the author, an evaluation of the scope of the work, etc. Is the source useful? Current? Reliable? Authoritative? Accurate? Fact or opinion? Also, you can include an assessment on the significance of the source as it relates to your topic. Usually an evaluation is two to three sentences long.

Annotation Examples

Here are a couple of examples (in APA citation style) you can use to model your own annotations:

Journal Article Example:

Practical classroom modifications and activities, which are applicable to elementary-aged children with autism, are described and evaluated based on their efficacy. This article serves as a reminder of the necessity of providing consistency, as well as a variety of experiences to address the varied learning needs of students with autism. The need for careful preparation and observation is also emphasized.

Children's Book Example:

Gantos, J. (1998). Joey Pigza swallowed the key. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

Joey Pigza sympathetically and poignantly depicts life as a child with attention deficit disorder. Since this story is told from the perspective of a child, it would allow other students to better understand the challenges facing children with ADD. As a teacher, I would assign this book as a reading, or read it together with my class, to encourage an atmosphere of tolerance and respect in the classroom.

Website Example:

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (2015). Advocacy. Retrieved from 

The entire CHADD website is useful, as it contains a wealth of resources for parents and children with ADHD, as well as for educators. This page specifically, on advocacy, helps teachers to better understand the perspective of parents advocating for accommodations for their child. It provides a context for their concerns so that teachers can be prepared to address their needs empathetically and knowledgeably.