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This is the "Writing an Annnotated Bibliography" page of the "Chicago Manual of Style" guide.
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Chicago Manual of Style   Tags: avoid_plagiarism, chicago_style, citation, citing, endnote, in-text, sources, works_cited  

This guide will help you with formatting your citations according to the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Writing an Annnotated Bibliography Print Page

About Annotated Bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography or annotated bib is a bibliography (a list of books or other works) that includes descriptive and evaluative comments about the sources cited in your paper. These comments are also known as annotations.

How do I format my annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography entry consists of two components: the Citation and the Annotation.


The citation should be formatted in the bibliographic style that your professor has requested for the assignment. Some common citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.


Generally, an annotation is approximately 100-300 words in length (one paragraph). However, your professor may have different expectations so it is recommended that you clarify the assignment guidelines.

An annotation may include the following information:

  • A brief summary of the source
  • The source’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Its conclusions
  • Why the source is relevant in your field of study
  • Its relationships to other studies in the field
  • An evaluation of the research methodology (if applicable)
  • Information about the author’s background
  • Your personal conclusions about the source


How to Write Annotated Bibliographies

The Chicago Manual of Style reference book is available at the Library.  It is currenlty located on a small table beside the small computer lab for easy access by students. This is a REFERENCE item for in-library use only.

Use reporting verbs to write focused, acccurate, and detailed.  Find out how to choose and reporting verbs at these sites:

University of Toronto: Verbs for Reporting Sources

Weldon Library, Western University: Annotated Bibliography (page 3)

San Jose State University Writing Centre

  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography
    – University of Toronto - An excellent resource that discusses selection of sources, summarizing the argument of a source, and assessing the relevance and value of sources. Points out the various formats for annotated bibliographies and provides examples and vocabulary suggestions.
  • Annotated Bibliographies
    - University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Centre - This resource discusses various approaches or formats to consider when writing annotated bibliographies and provides examples for each.
  • Annotated Bibliographies Brought to you by The OWL at Purdue
    – Purdue University Online Writing Lab - A concise handout on annotated bibliographies that provides links for further assistance with specific steps; includes examples.
  • How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography
    – Cornell University Library – Prepared by Cornell University Library, this page provides guidance on the preparation of annotated bibliographies and includes a link to further information on “How to Critically Analyze Information Sources”.
  • How to Write and Annotated Bibliography
    – University of California Santa Cruz - This comprehensive resource includes: definition, composition, purpose, examples and links to further information.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography | Chicago Manual of Style



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