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U100: Annotated Bibliography

Instructions Getting Started Evaluation Criteria Format and Sample entry

WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY? It is a list of references to books, articles, and documents. A reference (also called a citation) contains all the information needed to identify and locate an item: the author, title, publisher, date, volume, pages, etc. The purpose of a bibliography is to help someone verify the information provided in a research paper, book, or article Each reference is formatted using a citation style, like MLA or APA, followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) evaluative paragraph called an annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to provide your commentary about the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources you found.

Quick Links:

Academic Search Elite (for scholarly articles)

Approved Topics List

Citation Builder (to format your citations)

  1. Complete the Library Online Component (Beachboard) for UNIV 100.
  2. Get a Library Password so you may do your research from home. You do not need a password if you are going to do your research on campus.
  3. Select your topic from the list of approved topics on the UNIV 100 Web page or from your professor.
  4. Find 3-5 sources for your annotated bibliography.
    • 1 should be a book
    • 1 should be a scholarly periodical article
    • the rest can be Web sites, newspaper, or popular magazine articles.
    • bibliographies with only one type of source (e.g. only Web sites) will not be accepted!
  5. Read and evaluate your sources. For books, read the Table of Contents and the "About the Author section."

Write the citation and annotation. Each entry MUST address the following:

  1. Full citation using MLA or APA style for each source.
  2. How you found the source and the keywords you used to find them. For example: I used Academic Search Elite and my keywords were students and college.
  3. A brief summary of the source's content.
  4. A paragraph-length critical evaluation of the source. Your paragraph should answer the following questions listed under Evaluation.


  • Expertise of the Author: Is he/she an expert in the field of study etc.
  • Credibility of the source: Is it a university press publication, website from a credible agency etc.
  • Scope of the source: How does the scope of the source fit into your chosen topic? one portion of your topic or the whole thing?
  • Timeliness of the source for your topic:  when was the source written? do the dates cover some or all of your timeframe?
  • Relevance of the source for your topic: how does this source meet your research needs? how does it apply to your topic?

Click here to learn more about Evaluating information.

Getting Started

To start your research go to the Library's Electronic Resources page. Select "Find Articles" to get to Academic Search Elite to find articles. Select "Find Books" to get to the library catalog to find books.

To find books on your topic use COAST the library catalog.

The suggested database for finding popular and scholarly articles on your topic is Academic Search Elite.  Once you are on the search page make sure you mark the "scholarly peer reviewed source" option to find your scholarly journals easier.

academic search elite screen shot


Your list should be in alphabetical order. Use single spaces, but double space between elements of an entry (citation, summary, assessment).

Consult the Style Guides and Manuals Guide to help with citation formatting OR use the Citation Builder to generate your citations .


Sample Annotation: (This citation follows the MLA format for a book.)

Brownell, Susan, and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom. Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002.

I found this source searching the "Coast" library database using the key words "sex role-china". This book was edited in 2002 which makes it a relatively old publication but not old enough to disregard its credibility.  This book is a compilation of essays written by various gender study scholars. Each essay was carefully chosen by Susan Brownell and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom. Susan Brownell is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is an associate professor of History at Indiana University. Both Brown and Wasserstrom have written books focusing on the culture of China. The targeted audience for this collection of works ranges from high school to college students. This reader gives not only expert insight on Chinese femininity compared to Chinese masculinity but a wide range of gender differences. For example, this book provides the most common gender differences such as family life to the most obscure of gender differences such as banditry. Giving the reader such vast range of insight allows the readers to better understand the gender differences that do exist in Chinese culture.


Sample Annotation: (This citation follows the APA format for a book.)

Johnson , A., & Thomas, R. (1975). Sinatra the Man. New York: University Press.

I located this book using COAST the library catalog by typing the key words "Frank Sinatra" it closely follows the life of singing legend Frank Sinatra from his birth to almost the end of his career. It catalogs his life in chronological order and with it, his musical career. It is published by a reputable publisher, and is written for the general public. It contains a section with pictures of his family and when he was a youth. The age of this book will help me get started on the early years of his career but since it was published in 1975, I will need to find more current articles to talk about him before his death.There is no end for how useful this book will be in my research on Frank Sinatra. This book gives a close following of every concert hall show and appearance that Frank Sinatra ever made as well as information about his personal life and offspring. The provides the most momentous moments of his career and as such will provide, with my other sources,  a more complete log of his contributions to american music. If i were writing a paper on the life of Frank Sinatra it would provide the background information that would supplement the articles and websites i found already.