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Annotated Bibliography Guide

Student resource guide on the structure, layout, and importance of an annotated bibliography.


An annotated bibliography is a list of citations, documents, and resources that a researcher complies while undertaking a research project

A short (150-200 words) paragraph summarizing the material and its importance to the project (an annotation) follows each citation. The annotation should be both descriptive (accurately summarizing the resource) and also a qualitative evaluation of its merits (accuracy, relevance, quality, value as a resource, etc.). 

Why write an annotated bibliography?

Students are often asked to produce an annotated bibliography as a part of the research for a course. A professor may assign an annotated bibliography in order to...

  • find out the progress of a student's independent research project.
  • help a student's work on a research project.

Professors may mandate a certain number of citations in an annotated bibliography. At Hampshire, professors will likely ask students to produce an annotated bibliography both for courses and as a part of their Division III projects.

Annotated bibliographies are also a powerful research process for students to develop on their own. Annotations help map research projects. The bibliography and analysis function as a structure to for the development of a paper, instillation, or presentation. Annotated bibliographies are a tool that graduate students and academics use to organize their research.