Annotated Bibliography: Definition, Purpose, Procedure


An annotated bibliography provides a concise overview of the sources which are used for research on a given topic. It comprises a list of available sources for research. The students performing this assignment have to take the detailed sources from the list and write each source separately in the form of a citation. The structure should contain a brief summarized paragraph where the student has to evaluate the sources. There are chances that students receive this as an assignment itself, or sometimes it can be a part of a large assignment as well.

How may it appear? Bibliography for assignment is mainly divided into two parts in each entry.

  • A bibliographic citation followed by
  • An annotation that contains brief descriptions and assessments of each source.


Now the very common questions are- what is the main idea behind performing bibliography for assignment? Does it even benefit us from any aspect? The main concept behind these assignments is that it helps to get familiar with the available sources to gather information on a particular topic. An annotated bibliography generally involves in:

  • Analyzing the literature part of a specific subject.
  • Projects the quality and standard of your understanding based on your reading.
  • Identify the chances of finding the sources like journals, books, websites, and magazine articles.
  • Bring the sources into the spotlight, which might be useful for other researchers and readers.

How to write annotated bibliography?

  • Research for sources
  • Review
  • Write Annotation

Research For Sources

The first step is important. Student often get confused and search “How do I write annotated bibliography?” on the internet. Therefore we recommended them to pay full attention while selecting the sources. You can always read from the abstract or skim to use it as an advantage while you are trying to locate the sources. Further, we would suggest considering the following questions, which will help you get more clarity on the sources you’re looking for.

  • What kind of topic are you dealing with?
  • What question are you trying to look for?
  • Is it useful for the kind of journal where you are looking for information?
  • Are you looking for journals, primary data or reports?
  • Are you picky about selecting the sources when each and every one of the sources meets all the requirements for your assignment?
  • Have you selected a variety of sources? Are those sources adding different perspectives while you are performing bibliography for assignment?


Focus on the following aspects while verifying your chosen sources. Those are:

  • The theoretical perspective of the author
  • Which parts of the topic is it covering?
  • The main idea of the topic
  • The statement made by the author

Write Annotation

Once you have gathered sufficient information, now your sole focus should be to write annotated bibliography.

  • Focus on summarizing the sources within one brief paragraph.
  • The student must focus on including only the main ideas and important details in summary.
  • Any information clearly visible in the source’s title can be excluded from the annotation.
  • Know the suitable referencing style for annotated bibliography and use it carefully.
  • In-text citations are only necessary to write quotations or to attract attention to information from specific pages.

Annotated Bibliography is complicated as a stand-alone assignment and often the cause of plagiarism when they are just a part of a large assignment. To learn more about citations and score the best grades in these assignments, contact

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