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English 1102: Annotated Bibliographies

'This guide will help you find and use resources related to English 1102, specifically literary criticism, classic literature, and writing skills

Which formatting style should I use?

Which formatting style you use will depend upon your instructor.  Carefully read the directions for all assignments to determine which style to use. 

APA (American Psychological Association) is most often used to cite sources within the social sciences.

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

WHAT IS CITING?  Click here to learn about citing and why it is important in your academic papers.

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Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a works cited list (bibliography) that includes annotations (notes). These annotations can be summaries, analysis, or evaluations of the sources used in a paper. The sources are typically any works that were quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in an essay and occasionally include works that were read but not used.

Why Include an Annotated Bibliography?

The simplest reason for why to include one is because an instructor may have requested it. That being said, annotated bibliographies require students to read the sources being summarized, analyzed, or evaluated which results in a better knowledge of the topic being written about and it provides an opportunity to take notes as the source is being read.

How is an Annotated Bibliography Created?

Annotated bibliographies are created first by creating the citation information that normally goes into a works cited. For information on creating a works cited list, click MLA or APA. Additionally, look at OWL at Purdue for examples and more information on annotated bibliographies.

Next, under each entry, tab in so that the text is aligned to the hanging indent of the entry, and begin the annotation. This is usually just a few sentences, but can range to a paragraph or more. Depending on the assignment, the annotation may be a summary, analysis, evaluation of the source, or any combination of the three. To get a little more information on the three types of annotations, click on the links or scroll down.

Types of Annotations

Types of Annotations


Summaries require students read the article, book, or website and pick out the main points of the information presented. Ask questions such as:

  • What are the main points?
  • What is the main argument and which side does the writer support?
  • If asked to tell someone about the article, what would be said?


Analysis require careful reading and excellent notes. This type of annotation is almost a miniature essay. Discuss:

  • Who is the author and what are his or her credentials
  • Why was this article written?
  • Who did the author reference in his or her work?
  • What is the thesis of the paper?
  • What information backs up the thesis?
  • Did the author show any bias for or against the topic?


Finally, evaluations look at similar things as the analysis but instead of simply providing the information, include the student's judgement as to whether the source was valuable or not. Evaluations look at:

  • Who is the author and what are the credentials?
  • How did the work fit into the paper?
  • How thoroughly did the author cover the topic?
  • Was the work useful? If it wasn't useful, don't use it!
  • Was there any bias? If so, what effect did it have?

This is not an extensive list, but it should offer some direction as to what to write when creating an annotated bibliography. Instructors often have very specific ideas on what they want annotated bibliographies to include.

BEWARE plagiarism


Plagiarism is a serious offense in schools. By not citing (or writing down the author and title where you got information), you are stealing other people's ideas. If your instructor discovers it, you can face severe penalties, including at the least, failure of the assignment or if not the class. Many schools include suspension or expulsion for severe enough plagiarism. To better understand the consequences for this academic misconduct, look at the Student Handbook. To avoid this, always cite the sources from which you summarize, paraphrase, or quote.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College's Student Handbook defines plagiarism as the following:

  1. Submitting another's published or unpublished work in whole, in part or in paraphrase, as one's own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, quoation marks, citations, or bibliographical reference.
  2. Submitting as one's own original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the work.
  3. Submitting as one's own original work material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators (41).

Subject Guide

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, and an Equal Opportunity Institution.