The Annotated Bibliography

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to cite, and then briefly summarize, books and articles on a topic relevant to your study. Ultimately, this is useful for two main reasons:
  1. As a tool to help one catalog and organize large numbers of researched documents.

    If you are working on a lengthy paper or project that involves a complicated thesis, you may need to consult numerous articles, books, and other documents. To keep a running record of your study, an annotated bibliography can be useful to you when it comes time to provide a Works Cited page or to decide which texts will be most useful to your thesis.
  2. As means of providing a detailed reference for anyone else who may subsequently read or make use of your completed article.

    It is important to write as part of a community of fellow writers, readers, and thinkers. In other words, your essays should be written for public discourse. Imagine that one day your essay will be published or perhaps kept on record at your place of work. If people consult your work, it would be useful to them to have an index of related texts. Offering an annotated bibliography for their consideration will help to broaden their understanding of the scope of your thesis.

This page will introduce students to: