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Library Guide to SIP Research

Each SIP is unique. These resources and suggestions do not replace guidance given by departments or advisors.

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