Creating an Annotated Bibliography

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Creating your Annotated Bibliography

Reproduced and adapted with permission from Reference Department Collections, Reference, Instruction, & Outreach (CRIO) Cornell University Library Ithaca, NY, USA.

The Process

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

Picture of student typing on a keyboard
  • First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  • Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
  • Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. 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.
Critically Appraising the Book, Article, or Document

For information on the author's background and views, ask at the third floor Public Service Desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.

Choosing the Correct Format for the Citations

Style manuals for MLA, APA, and other formats are kept in the reference collections. Check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class. Online citation guides for both Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) are available on the Library's Style Guides webpage.

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457