Are you creating an annotated bibliography for your GS10 paper or another project?
Need a few resources to support your success? Here you go! Note: The definition below and comparison with an abstract are adapted from a handout created by staff at Olin Library at Cornell University.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and other documents, including, if applicable, multimedia 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 quality, affiliations/bias, accuracy, and relevance of the sources cited.
How is an annotation different from an abstract?
- Abstracts are the descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles.
- Annotations are descriptive and critical. In addition to describing the type of source and its scope and content, annotations critique the author’s credentials, point-of-view, affiliations/bias, and the degree to which their writing is clear, comprehensive, and appropriate in its tone/expression.
Annotation requirements vary by course and teacher, but generally an annotation should address the following: questions_an_annotation_answers (PDF).
Scholarly, trade/professional, or popular journal – How do you tell?
Consult this checklist from Cornell University Library or this Peabody Library video:
Other evaluation resources
- Menu of primary source types from Yale University
- Web site evaluation guidelines from Cornell University Library
- Evaluation criteria for multiple source types fromUC-Berkeley Library
The ability to critique sources effectively is a core research skill. If you have questions about this or another element of the research process, stop by the library.