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Q. What is an annotated bibliography?

Answered By: Hilda McNae
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021     Views: 4

In some subject areas you may be asked to prepare an annotated bibliography for one of your assessments. Below are some general guidelines. However, requirements may differ so you should always follow any instructions given in the details of the assessment and seek clarification from your module co-ordinator if you are unsure.

An annotated bibliography is a list of books, journal articles and other relevant resources relating to a specific topic. The topic may have been outlined in the assessment guidelines or you may have been given the option of choosing your own topic

The format and layout of the bibliography is usually a citation for the item followed by an annotation about that item.

Key points to note are:

  • Always include properly formatted references of all the items you have included in your bibliography. These should follow the referencing style used by your school. Ensure that they are correct and that you are consistent with your referencing throughout the bibliography.
  • Any items you include in your bibliography must be relevant to the topic. You may wish to consider including items which offer different perspectives on the topic. Ensure that anything you include is credible and taken from a reliable source
  • Annotations for each item should be succinct (check the assessment guidelines to see if you have been given a word count which you must adhere to).
  • Annotations usually describe the content of the source (briefly) and how it relates to the topic chosen. It should be critical and not just summarise the content. In your evaluation it might be useful to explain how it compares with other items in your bibliography or comment on how the item contributes to scholarship in the area.


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