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Annotated Bibliographies

What are they & how do you write one? This guide will give you some tips.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Usually, when you write a paper, you 1) find your sources, 2) evaluate their quality, 3) use them to write an essay, and then 4) add a bibliography of sources used to the end of your paper. An annotated bibliography essentially skips step 3), so you find, evaluate, and cite your sources but you don't write the paper.

Annotated Bibliography Steps

  1. Research your topic using the library's resources.
  2. Evaluate your sources for quality using the CRAAP test.
  3. Write a bibliography listing your sources in the appropriate citation style. NoodleBib can help!
  4. Annotate your bibliography by writing a couple paragraphs which summarize and analyze each source.

See the different sections of this guide for more information on each step.


Still unsure what an Annotated Bibliography is?

Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) has some great examples in both APA and MLA format.

Below is an example from OWL: note how it begins with a single citation to Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" and continues with a couple paragraphs. The first paragraph summarizes the content of the source while the second paragraph analyzes the source.