Brandel Library

HIST 1000: Global Themes in History (Clay)

Annotated Bibliographies

Definitions and Formats

  • Bibliographies are lists of the resources used in the writing of a document (paper, essay, article, book, etc.). 
  • Bibliographies usually list the resources without any added comments.
  • Annotated bibliographies are list of resources that also include comments by the person who is compiling the bibliography.
  • Annotations can be divided into 2 basic categories:
    • Summarizing / Describing: Sentences that briefly and accurately re-state what the article says. 
    • Evaluating / Analyzing: Sentences that provide your judgment about the accuracy of the information, the usefulness of the examples, the clarity of the writing and explanations, and the persuasiveness of the arguments.
  • The length can vary from a single sentence to several paragraphs. Always follow your professor's guidelines for the specifics of the assignment. In general, it might be good to provide 1-2 sentences of summary and 1-2 sentences of evaluation and perhaps another sentence that states how you will incorporate this resource in your paper.

Annotated Bibliography: Samples

Annotated Bibliography: Explanation, Analysis

MLA Annotated Bibliography Format

MLA annotated bibliography format 

The MLA Style Center and the current edition of the MLA Handbook provide the following guidance for formatting an MLA annotated bibliography:

  • Title your reference page as “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
  • Place each annotation after its reference.
  • Annotations should typically not exceed a single paragraph.
  • Annotations should be indented one inch from the start of your citation.
  • Double-space all text on the page.
  • 1-inch margins around the page.

Sources in an annotated bibliography can be organized alphabetically by the first word in each reference (as with a normal Works Cited page), by publication date, or by subject.

For a visual example of an annotated bibliography, as well as specific annotation examples, visit the MLA annotated bibliography guide.

MLA annotated bibliography