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ENG 111: College Composition I (Young-Loudoun)

This guide has been created by librarians at NOVA to help you find books, articles, videos, and other types of resources related to this program of study. Direct comments to Julie Combs,

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Annotated Bibliography Information

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is more than just a list of sources used for researching a topic. Before you begin, watch this video for details.

Why Write an Annotated Bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies provide an opportunity for you to learn more about your research topic, assess and evaluate sources, and discuss the ways in which each source contributes to the larger context of your paper.

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography:

Writing an annotated bibliography begins with research and reading.


  • Use the library catalog, databases, and other resources to find books, articles, and websites that are relevant to your research topic.

  • Ask a librarian for help if you need it.


  • Take careful notes over each source as you read it. Highlight important concepts, terms, and ideas. Write notes and questions in the margin.

  • Write a brief summary of the source. What is its main point? How does it support that main point?

  • Write a description of the source’s relevance to your topic and its quality. Will the source help you write your paper? Why or why not? Is the source credible? Why or why not?


  • After you have found all the sources you need to write your paper AND taken good notes over each of them, then you can begin to write the annotated bibliography.

  • Unless told otherwise by your instructor, each entry in the annotated bibliography must have

    • A works cited entry (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)

    • A descriptive paragraph that tells the reader the author and title of the source and briefly summarizes the source’s content

    • An evaluative paragraph that explains why the source is relevant to your topic or research question, why the source is credible, and how and why you will use the source in your paper.

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