Skip to Main Content

Citing: Annotated Bibliographies

Information about bibliographies, annotated bibliographies and plagiarism.


Who Needs to Include an Annotated Bibliography?

While you must include a bibliography in your paper if you use the works of others, you do not always have to make it an annotated bibliography.

Researchers and students whose professors require one include annotated bibliographies with their work.


What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotation is a note.  Therefore. . .

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography with notes on each entry.


When Should You Include a Citation in Your Annotated Bibliography?

Like any bibliography, you should include a citation every time you use an idea that is not your own and is not common knowledge.

When Should You Begin Working on Your Annotated Bibliography?

Like any bibliography, you should begin working on your annotated bibliography as soon as you begin your research.  The more notes you take about the quality of your sources while you are researching, the easier your job will be when you begin to write your annotated bibliography.


Where Should the Annotated Bibliography Go?

The annotated bibliography goes at the end of your paper, just as an unannotated bibliography would.

Continue the sequence of page numbers, as you would with an unannotated bibliography.


Why Are Annotated Bibliographies Included?

An annotated bibliography is helpful to people who read your paper who are interested in doing their own research on the subject.  They can learn from your work which sources were helpful to you, and therefore which will be helpful to them.

An annotated bibliography shows that you read and understood your sources.

An annotated bibliography shows what strengths and shortcomings each of your sources provided

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Writing Lab Consultants
Morgan Library Learning Center
574-372-5100 ext. 6427


How Do You Create an Annotated Bibliography?

Refer to the specific manual of whichever style you are using for formatting specifics.

While you are doing your research, take notes on the quality of each of your sources to refer to when writing your annotated bibliography.  This will make the process easier.

Depending on the specific assignment and how long your annotated bibliography is supposed to be, there is a variety of information which you may include. 

Possible pieces of information to include:

A summary of the source

What the source contributed to your work

Strengths and weaknesses of the source

The author’s point-of-view

The author’s limitations

The author’s reliability