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Literature Review: Annotated bibliography

This guide will define a literature review, describe the process of writing a literature review and examine where to search for literature

Creating an annotated bibliography part 1

Creating an annotated bibliography part 2

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography where references are given annotations or notes. There are generally four types of annotations - 

  • Descriptive annotations that describe the work
  • Summary annotations that provide a summary of the key points of a particular work
  • Critical annotations which evaluate where the work fits or doesn't fit within your research topic
  • Combined annotations which use all or some of the above styles.

Depending on your assignment you may be asked to reflect, summarise, critique, evaluate or analyse the source. You may be asked to find a specific number of items to include in the annotated bibliography. These items are most commonly refereed or peer reviewed journal articles but can include book chapters, books, conference papers and other information sources.  You may be asked to write an annotated bibliography as a stand alone assignment or as a component of a larger project. 

Questions to consider

You need to consider carefully the texts that you select for your annotated bibliography. Keep the following questions in mind to help clarify your choices.

  1. What topic/ problem am I investigating?
  2. What question(s) am I exploring? Identify the aim of your literature research.
  3. What kind of material am I looking at and why? Am I looking for journal articles, reports, policies or primary historical data?
  4. Am I being judicious in my selection of texts? Does each text relate to my research topic and assignment requirements?

What are the essential or key texts on my topic? Am I finding them? Are the sources valuable or often referred to in other texts?

Which writing style should I use in the annotations?

  • Each annotation should be concise. Do not write too much—remember, you are writing a summary, not an essay. Annotations should not extend beyond one paragraph unless otherwise stipulated in your assignment guidelines. As this is not an extended piece of writing, only mention significant and relevant details.
  • Any information apparent in the title of the text or journal can be omitted from the annotation.
  • Background materials and references to previous work by the same author usually are not included. As you are addressing one text at a time, there is no need to cross reference or use in-text citations to support your annotation.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated, you should write in full sentences using academic vocabulary.

Further Reading : University Of New South Wales Annotated Bibliography

EndNote for Annotated Bibliographies

Using EndNote to create an annotated list.

Step 1.Create an EndNote group for your annotated bibliography references.

Step 2.Creating your Annotated list in a Word document.

  • Select the references that you want to use, by either selecting the whole group or select multiple references using the Ctrl key for Windows, or Command key if using a Mac.
  • Use the Copy formatted shortcut, Ctrl k to copy these to your clipboard.

Step 3. Paste the results to your Word document.

  • You can insert your annotations below each reference to create your annotated Bibliography.


Note: The references below do not show the required indent for APA 7th, due to this guide's settings.

Bay, U. (2013). Transition town initiatives promoting transformational community change in tackling peak oil and climate change challenges. Australian Social Work, 66(2), 171-186.

This paper focuses on quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

Beaumont, E., Chester, P., & Rideout, H. (2017). Navigating ethical challenges in social media: Social work student and practitioner perspectives. Australian Social Work, 70(2), 221-228.

This gives and interesting perspective of ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

Beddoe, L. (2010). Social work and power. Australian Social Work, 63(3), 361-362.

The author presents a case where quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.Acknowledgement of Country

Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.