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Simple Exhaustive Annotated Bibliography Format
Troy University Writing Center 1
2010
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
A bibliography is an alphabetically arranged list of titles, authors’ names, and publication dates for a
set of books, articles, and other sources consulted in preparation of a report, research paper or article, or
as a research tool for a given topic. An annotated bibliography furnishes critical or explanatory notes in
addition to the bibliographical listing; in other words, an annotated bibliography is simply a bibliography
that contains a commentary or summary of each reference used.
An annotated bibliography may be exhaustive or selective. An exhaustive bibliography is a list of
everything that has been published on topic X; a selective bibliography is a list of (in the compiler’s
opinion at any rate) the key sources one should consult to learn something about topic X. Regardless of
the way one chooses to prepare the document (exhaustive or selective), the bibliography should include
an explanatory note telling the reader what type has been prepared.
Writing the Annotations:
The annotation that will accompany each bibliographic entry is simply a four or five sentence
summary about the contents of each book, article, or other publication consulted. The commentary may
take one (or occasionally both) of two forms: a descriptive abstract of the work or an evaluative comment
by the writer. The evaluative comment requires the writer to read all of the sources and make judgments
about them; therefore, it generally proves to be a more useful document for readers.
Below are five suggestions of the type of information one should include in an annotation:
o Explain the main purpose of the work.
o Briefly describe the contents.
o Indicate the possible audience for the work.
o Note any special features.
o Warn of any defect, weakness, or bias.
Sample Annotation:
MLA format (will be double spaced):
Cobb, Charles. Practical Communication for Technical and Vocational Arts. Santa
Monica, CA: Goodyear, 1987. Print.
This text-workbook with tear-out pages has 13 chapters covering such topics as “The Basics
of Communication,” “Work Orders and Estimates,” “Other Necessary Forms and Records.” All
chapters end in a “learning quiz” that reviews the text and projects that require students to write a
response, complete a form, or prepare graphics materials. Six appendices cover grammar,
punctuation, and vocabulary. Many examples of forms for memos, work orders, job records,
insurance claims, maintenance requests, etc., are also included.
APA format (will be double spaced):
Cobb, C. (1987). Practical communication for technical and vocational arts. Santa Monica, CA:
Goodyear.
This text-workbook with tear-out pages has 13 chapters covering such topics as “The Basics of
Communication,” “Work Orders and Estimates,” “Other Necessary Forms and Records.” All chapters
end in a “learning quiz” that reviews the text and projects that require students to write a response,
complete a form, or prepare graphics materials. Six appendices cover grammar, punctuation, and
vocabulary. Many examples of forms for memos, work orders, job records, insurance claims,
maintenance requests, etc., are also included.
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