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GU-Q: WRIT 015: Writing and Culture -Spring 16

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes a paragraph following each citation that summarizes or evaluates the source being cited. "Each annotation is generally three to seven sentences long. In some bibliographies, the annotation merely describes the content and scope of the source; in others, the annotation also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose" (Glossary of Research Terms, n.d.). 


The primary purpose of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in finding the sources used in the writing of a work.Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibligraphy might have different purposes:

  • provide a literature review on a particular subject
  • help formulate a thesis on a subject
  • demonstrate the quality of research that you have done
  • show that you understand each source cited
  • provide examples of the types of sources available
  • describe other items on a topic that may be of interest to the reader
  • explore the subject for further research