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Annotated Bibliography

This guide is to help create and develop an Annotated Bibliography


I've found a good source of information. I've referenced it correctly. What do I write in the annotation?

This might be a useful video

What to write?


For each paper, think of:

  • how relevant is it e.g. is it up-to-date?
  • how accurate is it e.g. is it an opinion piece?
  • What is the quality of source e.g. is it peer reviewed?

Briefly restate the main point(s) or argument of the source. Consider the major methods of investigation, and its main conclusions. 


Write an evaluative or critical comment on each paper. Think about:

  • usefulness of this paper for your research topic
  • limitations of paper

You may want to consider doing:

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.


See this factsheet from University of New England for help with structuring annotations.

Language to use

Reading strategies

What's the difference between an abstract and an annotation?


An abstract is a preview/summary of the article (written by author/editor).

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a description and an evaluation (written by student or researcher).