Lone Star College – Tomball Tomball College and Community Library What is an Annotated Bibliography?

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Lone Star College – Tomball

Tomball College and Community Library

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents on a related topic. Each citation is followed by a brief (30150 word) descriptive paragraph. The purpose of the annotation is to critically evaluate the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources you have cited and help other researchers locate valuable information.

Steps in Creating an Annotated Bibliography:

1. Locate books, periodicals, and other sources that may contain information on your topic.

2. Critically examine the items. For a book, scan the jacket, introduction, table of contents and index. For an article, carefully review the abstract and main headings in the text.

3. After the initial review, select those works that provide useful information/perspectives on your topic.

4. Create an APA style reference entry for each item.

5. Immediately below the reference entry compose a concise paragraph that summarizes the central theme and scope of each book, article, film, essay, website, government report, etc. Typically, an annotation includes:

      1. o information on the authority or background of the author

      2. o a description of the intended audience for the work

      3. o a comparison/contrast of the usefulness of this work with other items cited in the bibliography

      4. o information that you discovered that would help another researcher investigating the same topic.

Format for an APA Annotated Bibliography.

The citations for an annotate bibliography follow the rules for APA style reference entries. The annotation is a double-spaced, block paragraph.

Indent the paragraph two spaces from the last line of the citation entry.

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry for a Journal Article

Here is an example of an annotation for a journal article from Cornell University Library’s Annotated Bibliography How To web page


Goldschneider, F. K., Waite, L. J., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the

erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American

Sociological Review, 51 (4), 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the national Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents, before marrying, increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams, cited below, shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

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