Learn more about how the Cal Poly Humboldt Library can help
support your research and learning needs.

Stay updated at Campus Ready.

Skip to Main Content

Sociology and Criminology & Justice Studies Research Guide

Sociology and Criminology & Justice Studies Research Guide

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

A bibliography is an alphabetical listing of sources that appears at the end of a written work. Bibliographies follow the conventions of the citation style chosen by the author (ie. ASA, APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

An annotation is a description of the cited source that includes an evaluation of its nature and value.

An annotated bibliography is created in order to provide future researchers with detailed information about literature in the field.

How Do I Make an Annotated Bibliography?

Consider the scope of your annotated bibliography. Does it have to be comprehensive? Did your instructor specify how many sources should be included?

Do a search of the literature. Check the library databases for scholarly articles, books, and other materials on your topic. Look at the citations at the end of the scholarly resources you find to find related resources. Are there titles that appear regularly? Try to find copies of those works, as they may be important in the field of inquiry.

Evaluate your sources. Read and take notes. Jot down basic impressions about the source and its relevance to your topic.

From your selected sources, create a bibliography in your chosen style (ie. ASA, MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). The Library has style guides that can help you create an accurate bibliography.

Annotations should briefly:

  • Explain the purpose, scope and significance of the source.
  • Address the theoretical basis of the work.
  • Describe the currency of the source, and how that effects the relevancy of it.
  • Consider the biases of the source.
  • Mention features such as indices, glossaries, appendices, etc.

ASA Style Guide

The American Sociological Association has published a style guide to provide authors with writing and citation guidelines. According to the Preface of the 4th edition, "It is designed to serve as the authoritative reference for writing, submitting, editing, and copy editing manuscripts for ASA journals. In practice, however, the ASA Style Guide also serves a wider community of researchers, writiers, and publishers who use it to prepare and present scholarly papers in other sociological and social science venues (ASA 2010:xi)."

The call number for the ASA Style Guide is HM 569. A44 2010.

ASA style is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (Z253 .U69 2010). For more information, see the links below.