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Prof. Mallory - English 101 - Fall 2023: Process

Process of Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

  1. First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, documents, and/or videos that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic
  2. Examine and review the actual items carefully. Determine what ideas and details that source provides that will be useful in learning about the topic and supporting your thesis/claim. Choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  3. Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style (ie. MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)
  4. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that: 
    • evaluate the authority or background of the author,
    • comment on the intended audience,
    • compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.


The organization of the annotated bibliography, if not prescribed by faculty instructions, may be one of various methods, including but not limited to:

  • Alphabetical
  • Chronological: either by date of publication or by period of subject matter (century, era, decade, event, year)
  • By subtopic
  • By format (articles, books, government documents, media, web pages, etc.)
  • By language

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