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Annotated Bibliographies: Home

What is an annotated bibliography? (MLA 5.132)

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, web pages and other sources. Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the basic ideas, relevance, and quality of the sources cited.
There are different types or parts of annotated bibliographies: Indicative, Informative, evaluative, and combination.
Click here to see explanations and examples of these different types.


Example (book):


Almond, Steve. Candy Freak. Orlando: Harcourt, Inc, 2014.

[Summary/description -- what are the main findings or arguments of the source:]

In Candy Freak, Almond presents a solid history of the candy industry in 20th century America. After describing his love of candy and chocolate in particular, Almond takes the reader on a tour of candy factories across America while discussing how three large corporations (Hershey, M&M/Mars, and Nestle) managed to squeeze out hundreds of candy brands that were produced regionally in this country.

[Evaluation/assessment -- what is the quality of the source:]

This source provides a basic understanding of the history of candy but doesn’t go much further than that. The author’s humorous tone makes it interesting to read and also provides some insight in the author’s perspective (he seems a bit biased against the big three candy corporations). The information seems reliable but Almond does not provide a bibliography for his book so the reader should take that into consideration while reading. Almond’s personal tours through candy factories and conversations with candy makers do lend reliability to his work.

[Reflection -- relevance/usefulness/conclusion:]

This source will work well for my basic understanding of corporate influence in the free market. I can use this source in my introduction but it doesn’t provide much beyond the general. However, Candy Freak does provide a possible model for an explanation of how “mom and pop” stores have been supplanted by large corporations in the United States. It may offer insight into how the drink industry and beer industry have evolved over the last 100 years.

How to write an annotation

A concise annotation summarizes the central theme and scope of the book, article or other source. Include one or more sentences that:
(a) evaluate the authority or background of the author,
(b) comment on the intended audience,
(c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
(d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Click here for information on how to evaluate a webpage or other source