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Environmental History: Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies

Creating an annotated bibliography can help prepare you to write a strong research paper. An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (like a bibliography), where each source is followed by a short summary and/or evaluation (the annotation). Writing the annotations requires you to read for comprehension and critically examine how each source meets your research needs.


Annotations can take a variety of forms, but most contain three key components: a summary, an evaluation, and a reflection.


  • Summary: What is the source about? What are the key ideas, concepts, or themes? How would you describe the source to someone who hasn't read it?
  • Evaluation: Is this source credible? Does it include biases or is it objective? Does the author's background or education suggest that they are authoritative on the topic? If the author does make an argument, is it persuasive or logical?
  • Reflection: How does this source serve your research needs? How will you use it in your paper? Does this source have a connection with any other sources you're planning to include? Does this source help shape or support your argument?


Your annotated bibliography may contain only some of these components or may include additional information. Ask your professor what they expect if you're writing an annotated bibliography for class.

Example Annotated Bibliography

Resources for Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Here are some guides and examples to get you started as you work on your annotated bibliography.

Subject Librarian

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Carrie Pirmann
Bertrand Library
Research Help Area, Room 112
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM