Writing@CSU Activities Bank

Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Contributed by Mike Palmquist


Goals: To help students understand key concepts in an annotated bibliography


I've used this handout to help students understand the key concepts in an annotated bibliography. I can put it on an overhead slide or post it to the class Web page.



Typically, an annotated bibliography consists of a citation followed by an annotation.  An annotation is a short summary of a source.  Annotated bibliographies are especially helpful when you are doing group work, since people involved in a writing group may not have read all the sources that their group has identified as being relevant to an issue.


Your bibliography should be arranged alphabetically and you should use the MLA format (Modern Language Association).  If you are unfamiliar with this format, you should consult pages 561 to 565 in the Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers.

Line Callout 3 (Accent Bar): The Title of the Book in which the Chapter Appears

Example entry in an annotated bibliography:


Line Callout 3 (Accent Bar): The title of the Chapter
Line Callout 3 (Accent Bar): The Author of the Chapter





Line Callout 3 (Accent Bar): Page NumbersCazden, Courtney B. "Classroom discourse." Handbook of research on teaching (Third Edition). Ed. Merrill C. Wittrock. New York: Macmillan, 1986. 432-463.


Cazden reviews research in classroom discourse from a sociolinguistic perspective.  She provides a fairly useful discussion of some of the key issues in the field and concludes with a discussion of the relationships between discourse and cognition.

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Line Callout 3 (Accent Bar): The Editor of the Book




Note the use of quotation marks in chapter titles, underlining of book titles, and the use of periods and commas between elements of the citation.  For a fuller discussion of these elements, see pages 561 to 565 in the Prentice Hall Guide.