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English 100

Everything an English 100 student will need to know

Annotated Bibliography Information

Everything you need to know to Write an Annotated Bibliography 

Build an Annotated Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. It’s made up of two parts. 

The                                        Citation

and the                                Annotation. 

Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150-200 word) descriptive and evaluative paragraph (the annotation).  The purpose of annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.   

What is an Annotated Bibliography

Just to get started, here are a tutorial on annotated bibliographies to help you understand what they are. Special thanks to Brock Library for creating it.


Annotated Bibliography Example

Here is a basic example of an annotated bibliography.  You must pay attention to what format your bibliography needs to be in and set your entries up as specified by your instructor.  Do NOT use abstracts from the databases (or Amazon) as your annotation. (This is easy for the teacher to figure out and fail you for the class).  Your annotation should be a summarization of the article in your OWN WORDS.  

sample entry of an annotated bib

What Should I Use to Find the Material for my Annotated Bibliography?

You will need to use one of the databases to find the materials you will use in your annotated bibliography.  Which database you choose may depend on your subject (or field of subject).  You can go to the library home page ( and click on Research Guides just below the Search Box.  Search your major, or overall subject of your topic from the list.  Opening the page for the Research Guide will let you know who is the librarian associated with the subject (in case you need extra help), but also, there will be a tab for databases.  Click on the tab an you will be looking at a list of all the databases which are useful for researching your subject area.  Sometimes one or two will be better than others, and that is usually indicated.

Use One Search to search for book or article items in the collection.

Use MLA or APA Formats to Cite for Your Annotated Bibliography

Make sure to look carefully at your syllabus to see what your teacher wants you to use.  Often they will specify which citing format they want to see on the annotated bibliography.  The two most popular citing resources are the MLA Bibliography and the APA Publication Manual.  Please find a link to the best electronic version of both resources below.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers  


MLA Purdue OWL 

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 


APA Purdue OWL

Click on the links in the Basics of APA Style page to access the video tutorials on how to use APA Style:

APA Style Tutorial 

WKU Writing Center Information

If you should have difficulties and need more help writing your annotated bibliography, please contact the folks at the Writing Center to make an appointment for someone to work with you one-on-one. 

WKU Writing Center

               Cherry Hall 123

Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm

                Cravens Library

Sunday & Monday: 5 pm - 9 pm

Tuesday : 5:30 pm - 9 pm

Wednesday: 6 pm - 9 pm

Thursday: 5:30 pm - 9 pm

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Phone: (270) 745-5719

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Core Curriculum Librarian

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Sara McCaslin
The Commons at Helm Library 2019