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Annotated Bibliography

A guide to creating an annotated bibliography in any class.

Understand the Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that summarizes and explains the relevance of each source to your research.

Use it at the beginning of the research process to:

  • Record the sources you have found.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of your sources.
  • Analyze the quality and credibility of your sources.
  • Identify patterns and themes among and across different sources.
  • Reflect on the possible ways you will use your sources as you integrate them into your paper.
  • Develop a thesis or argument.

bibliograrphy + annotation = annotated bibliography


An annotated bibliography is often assigned as a step in writing a research paper.

The University of Toronto provides a detailed explainer: