Simple Preparing Annotated Bibliography Template Format - Free Download
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© 2014 Grand Canyon University 1 Last updated: October 6, 2014
Preparing Annotated Bibliographies
This resource provides general guidelines and specific examples for creating an annotated
bibliography. Please consult your instructor or check the detailed directions for your assignment,
as they may differ from these general guidelines.
A bibliography (also called references in some styles) is a list (usually alphabetical) of sources
(e.g., books, journal articles, reviews, papers, dissertations, and website articles) that are relevant
and valuable to a researcher exploring a topic. It usually just contains citation information
(author(s), year, title, publisher information, etc.). Refer to the appropriate style guide in the
Student Success Center for rules and examples of formatting bibliography/reference entries.
An annotation contains a short summary describing a source and/or an evaluation of it.
Depending on the style, the annotation may directly follow the bibliography entry on the same
line or may follow on the next line and may have a block or first-line paragraph indent. Thus, an
annotated bibliography contains annotations for each of the bibliographic entries. Unless
otherwise directed by your assignment, title it Annotated Bibliography.
The length of each annotation depends on specific assignment directions. It can be a few
sentences or as long as 150-200 words. Like an abstract, it should not be more than one
paragraph long. It may contain verb phrases with the understanding that the source is the subject,
but preferably, it should contain only complete sentences.
The first step in creating an annotated bibliography is to find relevant sources with valuable
information and ideas about your topic. Refer to your assignment for instructions on the specific
number and type of source required. Often, you will be required to utilize the GCU Library to
locate sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly books). The GCU Library can
be accessed at http://library.gcu.edu. Read abstracts of sources to select the most appropriate.
There are a variety of helpful services and tools provided by the GCU Library designed to assist
students with locating the best sources for assignments. Popular services include tutorials, live
webinars, and subject-specific research guides. Librarians are also available via telephone, email,
and chat. The library’s contact information and hours are located at http://library.gcu.edu.
For those students wishing to compile their source citations in a centralized location with the
ability to assist in the creation of bibliography, RefWorks is an excellent option. This is
particularly useful for graduate and doctoral students. Information about RefWorks can be found
at http://library.gcu.edu/Reference. Whenever utilizing a tool that assists with citation creation,
always check the citation that is produced by the software for accuracy and proper formatting.