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AFRS 325: The Black Male

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies help organize potential sources prior to being cited in a paper, presentation or project. Once all sources are collected, annotations for each help the author decide where and how to reference the books, articles or other media relevant to the topic. Annotated bibliographies provide the following:

  1. A formatted citation for each source in the required style
  2. Your summary of each source 
  3. Your evaluation of each source
  4. Consider if or how the source will be used in your assignment/paper
Example APA citation from an electronic journal

Milford, S. (2015). Photo identification at the ballot: election protection or voter suppression? Missouri Law Review, 80(1), 297. Retrieved from

SUMMARIZE: Write your source summary below the formatted citation. You may want to emphasize the particular content that is most useful to your research. Avoid using abstracts that accompany some sources. This is YOUR summary, and it should reflect your understanding of the work as well as what is most pertinent to you.

EVALUATE: Evaluate the source below your summary.  Your evaluation gives you an opportunity to critically analyze the work according to its methods and execution.  Has the author effectively communicated the arguments within?  Are the arguments supported by data and/or other forms of evidence? Or are there perceivable gaps in logic, unsupported claims, or bias?  Are there sufficient citations that lead you to believe the work responsibly integrates the contributions of other experts in the field? 

CONSIDER: Consider how the source relates to your topic. Does the source help you with your research? How does the source support your arguments/statements? Is the work appropriate to use in the context of your assignment? If so, what specific parts, data, or statements in the work will you cite? If you are citing the source in your paper or project, add notes as to why, where, and how the source will be used.

NOTE: There is no singular way to create an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography may include these or other elements. Always consult with your instructor on what is expected if your annotated bibliography.

See more on annotated bibliographies at the Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Annotated Bibliography Video

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