Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Research Guides | Library | Amherst College

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship & Benjamin Mays Library Research Guide

Why make an annotated bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies are paragraph-length descriptions of scholarly sources. The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to:

  • Guide readers by providing a list of sources on a specific subject
  • Briefly describe a source  
  • Analyze the usefulness or significance of a source

 An annotated bibliography is helpful for making sense of how sources relate to one another for incorporating into a literature review. Collections of annotated bibliographies have been published as books or articles.

Components of an annotated bibliography

  • The source's citation in an appropriate citation style
  • A description of the authority/background/credentials of the author of the source
  • A summary of the source's format
  • Overview of the source's central argument and/or findings
  • An evaluation of the source
  • An explanation of how the work informs your research

Example of an annotated bibliography entry


Source: Owens, T. C., Callier, D. M., Robinson, J. L., & Garner, P. R. (2017). Towards an interdisciplinary field of Black girlhood studies. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, 6(3), 116-132.

Suggested Resources