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The CSU Guide to Writing Your First Assignment (opens as pdf) describes an annotated bibliography as follows:

Annotate means to ‘make a note’, and biblio refers to ‘book’. Simply stated, an annotated bibliography is a list of sources or citations with a brief evaluative summary (annotation) about each source. Its purpose is to describe and evaluate a full text in a way that provides sufficient information for the reader to make an informed decision about whether they are likely to benefit from reading the full text (p.7).


A quick search in Google will reveal a number of useful resources about how to write an annotated bibliography. Keep an eye out for resources by educational institutions, particularly those ending in

Here are some resources you may find useful:

  • Annotated Bibliography by the University of New South Wales. Describes the purpose of an annotated bibliography; breaks the task of creating an annotated bibliography into many smaller parts; includes focus questions; and offers an example annotation.
  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography by Queensland University of Technology. Discusses why you might write an annotated bibliography; breaks the task of creating an annotated bibliography into three sections; and includes a revision checklist.

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