A bibliography is an alphabetical list of sources (books, journals, websites, periodicals, etc.) you have used for researching a topic. A bibliography includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, etc.) for each source. An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations should summarize, assess, or reflect on the source and its use for your assignment.
- Complete bibliographic information
- Evaluation of why you feel this work is suitable for your topic.
- Some or all of the following:
- Information to explain the authority and/or qualifications of the author. For example: Dr. William Smith, a history professor at XYZ University, based his book on twenty years of research.
- Scope and main purpose of work.
- Any bias that you detect.
- Intended audience and reading difficulty.
Where to look:
- Author Information
- For regular books, most have an “about the author” somewhere within. Normally, it is at the very end or very beginning of the book or it may be on the back flap of an item.
- For Reference books or regular books you can always “Google” the author.
- Content of Books
- For regular books, you should look at the table of contents and the index. Also perusing book reviews (Editorial Reviews not personal ones) from something like Amazon.com will give you insight.
- For Reference books or regular books you can always “Google” the work and see the publisher's description.
Sample Information/Description Annotation
An Informative/Descriptive annotation describes the content of the work without judging it. It does point out distinctive features.
London, Herbert. “Five Myths of the Television Age.” Television Quarterly 10(1) Spring 1982: 81-89.
Herbert London, the Dean of Journalism at New York University and author of several books and articles, explains how television contradicts five commonly believed ideas. He uses specific examples of events seen on television, such as the assassination of John Kennedy, to illustrate his points. His examples have been selected to contradict such truism as: “seeing is believing”; “a picture is worth a thousand words”: and “satisfaction its own reward.” London uses logical arguments to back his claims.