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Social Work Research Guide

A guide for social work research.

Annotated Bibliographies

What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph (the annotation). The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

Abstracts are descriptive summaries that are often included at the beginning of scholarly articles.
Annotations are descriptive, too, but they also evaluate the source, explain how it relates to the topic being explored, and compare it with other works included in the bibliography. 

How Should I Start? 

First, find sources on your topic. This research guide can help with this, or you can meet with a librarian. Once you've selected the sources you want to use, cite them in the correct citation style (APA, MLA, etc). Then, 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 adds to the conversation on your topic.