How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
last update: 12 December 2007

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography includes the elements of a standard bibliography and adds "annotations" to each bibliographic entry.  The annotations essentially are miniature abstracts of the books and articles included in the bibliography.

  1. Start with your Select Bibliography, done according to The Chicago Manual of Style (unless otherwise indicated by the instructor)
    1. Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian's guide is the abridged introduction to this format)
    2. Citing on-line sources
  2. Abstract your books and articles (usu. about a dozen entries total)
    1. Edit each abstract so it is as brief as possible while retaining the essential data you wish to convey.
    2. Article abstracts should be about 35–50 words (certainly no more than 75), book abstracts about 100–150 words.
    3. Include an assessment of the significance of the piece you are abstracting, not simply for your own research but for the field as a whole.
  3. Incorporate the annotations after each bibliographic entry, and there you have it!
  1. The header should include the reviewer's name and the date the bibliography was compiled.
  2. The bibliographic references should be complete, accurate, and conform to The Chicago Manual of Style.
  3. The print-out should be single-spaced within entries, but double-spaced between them.
  4. A digital copy of the document (in DOC, WPD, ODX, or HTML format) should be submitted along with the print copy.

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