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Ethnic 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. 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. 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.