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COMM 1100 - MacMurdo (Paulding) - Spring 2018: Annotated Bibliography

Not As Scary As They Sound


Annotated Bibliographies?  Noooooo-o-o-o-o....!!!


So, now you need to do an annotated bibliography.  Sit down, take a deep breath, have a drink of water, and it will all be fine.  Really, they're not as hard as you think they are.

The Cornell University Library has defined an annotated bibliography as:

“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."

In English, this means you are creating a paragraph that others may read to get a general idea of what your sources are about. The hardest part is being concise with your information. Annotations take practice but once you get the hang of it they are easy. Here are a few pointers to get you started:


A: An annotated bibliography essentially contains your citations with a brief summary of each article.      

So tell the audience what is in the article. This is the most difficult part of the annotation because it requires you to be *very* succinct. Don’t rewrite the article; just write two or three sentences highlighting the basic facts and important notes about the article.


B: It can include other information, but ONLY if you think this information is important to why you chose the source:

           You can explain how this article illuminates your bibliography topic.

What about this article makes it relevant to your topic? Why did you select it? What pertinent bit of information makes this article stand out among the others?

           You can compare or contrast this work with another you have cited.

How does this specific article relate to another article in your annotated bibliography? Do they agree or not? Why not? What makes them unique?

           You can critique the limitiations of the article.

Are there parts of the article that are not useful to your project?  Does it not address issues that you need to have  more information on?

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