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Lipscomb Experience: Annotated Bibliography

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Annotated Bibliography Explanation

What is an annotated bibliography?

  • An annotated bibliography is a collection of citations for books, articles, and other documents. Each citation has a brief summary and evaluation of the source. 

What is the purpose of an annotated bibliography?

  • An annotated bibliography allows a reader to quickly identify the accuracy, quality, and relevance of a particular sources on a specific topic.

Developing an Annotated Bibliography

Steps for writing an annotated bibliography -

  1. Think about your research question. Write down keywords and terms to help you find sources.
  2. Start your research with the library. Spend some time gathering sources such as books, articles, reports, films, etc.
  3. Briefly read/watch and review the sources to identify good candidates that address your question or topic.
  4. Cite the sources you want to use in your annotated bibliography. Use the citation style your professor has assigned.
  5. Under each citation, write a paragraph that includes the following:
    • brief summary of the article that addresses the main ideas of the article,
    • address the authority or qualifications of the author(s),
    • note any bias from the author(s),
    • explain how this source is relevant to your topic.

Sample Annotation in MLA Format

MLA Annotation

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995. Print.

Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic. In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun.‚Äč

Example from Purdue OWL: Accessed September 22, 2015.