Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Guide

A guide to create citations for bibliographies and works cited in research papers.

Annotating Citations

An annotated bibliography provides a brief account of the available research on a given topic. It is a list of research sources that includes concise descriptions and evaluations of each source.  The annotation usually contains a brief summary of content and a short analysis or evaluation, and the sources that are listed provide an exensive literature review of a particular topic.

Depending on your assignment you may be asked to reflect, summarise, critique, evaluate or analyse the source. While an annotation can be as brief as one sentence, the standard annotated bibliography consists of a citation followed by a short paragraph.

A successful annotated bibliography will:

  1. Encourage you to explore a topic to a significant depth
  2. Include the most relevant literature on a topic
  3. Include sources written by experts in their field
  4. Not omit the most important research/literature on the topic

In addition to having the characteristics mentioned above, the annotation provided about each source should be descriptive and place the source in a broader context.  Generally, a good annotation will seek to answer the questions of What, Who, How, and Why:

  1. What--Describe and summarize what the source says
  2. Who--Explain who the author is, the author's credentials, and why the author is a reliable source of information.
  3. How--Explain how the particular source is relevant to your research project
  4. Why--Explain why the particular source is the best source for the job when other sources are available

Examples of Annotated Bibliographies

Here are some links to some sample Annotated citations.