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The Writing Center
Empire State College
Genesee Valley Center
Rochester, NY


  • Three Key Steps to Developing a Clear and Useful Annotated Bibliography:

    1. Read carefully the original source before writing your annotation; do not rely completely on abstracts or descriptions by others.

    2. Write your 3 - 5 sentence annotation carefully and precisely, using complete sentences. Identify the author's purpose, intended audience, and thesis; write your annotation to succinctly inform your reader of these points.

    3. Choose works that are in line with the theme of your research or study. In other words, use works that are relevant as well as topical. Also, the language of your annotation should convey the content objectively rather than judgmentally. It's fine to include an author you disagree with (or agree with) as long as you give a fair and accurate annotation.

  • Sample Annotated Bibliography Items

Groce, N. E., and Whiting, J. (1985). Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [APA Citation Style]


Groce, Nora Ellen, and John W.M. Whiting. Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985. [MLA Citation Style]

This social history of an American linguistic community is of interest to anyone interested in issues related to deafness. From the early seventeenth century until the early twentieth century, the island community of Martha's Vineyard included a substantial proportion of deaf members, who participated fully in every aspect of community life. The deaf and hearing Islanders together generated and maintained an early variety of American Sign Language that was a common and everyday idiom of expression. In contrast to the American mainland, deafness in this community was not perceived as a disability and the use of sign language was not stigmatized or deemed inferior to the use of spoken language.

Tannen, D. (September-October 1995). The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why. The Harvard Business Review, pp. 138-148. [APA Citation Style]


Tannen, Deborah. "The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why." The Harvard Business Review Sept-Oct 1995: 138-148. [MLA Citation Style]

According to Tannen, communication between men and women in the workplace can be likened to cross-cultural communication. The use of language is learned social behavior; divergent formative cultural and social experiences of men and women lead them to use linguistic and communicative styles with differing expectations, rituals and social objectives. In the workplace, this can affect or interfere with processes of giving feedback, criticizing and negotiating.