Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Annotated Bibliography

  • Page ID
  • Logo Design by


    What is an Annotated Bibliography?

    A bibliography is your Works Cited page. It is a list of sources that have been used to research a topic.  An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation of the sources used to research a topic.  An annotation is written in paragraph form and will include the following:

    • Summary:  Some annotations simply tell the main arguments, the purpose of the article or book, or the topics covered.  The length of your annotation will depend on how detailed you are in your summary.
    • Assessment:  After summarizing the source, you may evaluate it by asking how it could be a useful source.  How does it compare to other sources?  Is the information reliable?
    • Reflection:  You need to ask how this information fits into your research.  Was the source helpful?  How will it shape your argument?  How can you use the source?  Has it changed your thoughts on the topic?

    The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to learn about your topic.  It is one of the best ways to compile information for a research paper.  You can collect information about your sources while keeping track of what they are about.  In addition, an annotated bibliography will help you to formulate a thesis statement.  After compiling your annotated bibliography, you will better understand what is being said about your topic, which  will help you to create a thoughtful and informed thesis.

    • I have attached a sample annotated bibliography.  Check it out!  Not all annotations will be that long, but it's good to see one that includes everything.  You can also view another one here:  
    Sample annotated bibliography
    • Please watch the following video to help review bibliographies and to help you understand how to format an annotated bibliography as well:

    Annotated Bibliography Video

    Annotated Bibliography Assignment

    In the following assignment, you will revise your Works Cited page that you submitted in the previous lesson. You will include annotations to create an annotated bibliography.

    Here are some rules you will want to follow when creating your annotated bibliography:

    • Follow MLA formatting when citing the source.
    • Annotate in paragraph form.
    • Include a summary, assessment, and reflection:
             Explain the main purpose of the work
             Briefly describe the contents 
             Comment on things you find interesting about the source
             Reflect on its usefulness as it relates to your research
    • You may use quotes from the article, but your entire annotation cannot just be quotes.
    • Put annotations in alphabetical order by author's last name.


    Works Cited
    Purdue Online Writing Lab 18 Sept 2012
    Image source: