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Citing Sources

What's the purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research you have done on a given topic.  The purpose is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. 

  • To define the scope and quality of one's own research
  • To review the literature published on a particular topic
  • Provide a historical context for your research

An annotated bibliography is NOT the same as an abstract, which simply summarizes a work's main points.  

Points to Keep in Mind

Each annotation starts with a full citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago style. 

Each annotation can include

  • the main point, content, or argument of a source
  • the author's point of view
  • any shortcomings or bias in the author's argument, research
  • the author's credentials
  • any significant special features of the work (e.g., glossary, appendices, particularly good index)

You might also include an assessment of the source:

  • What is the value of this source to your research? 
  • How will you use it in your research?
  • Your own brief impression of the work