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.

MATH 223 - Mathematics for Social Justice

Understanding an Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to sources, such as books and articles. Each citation is followed by an annotation, a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, about 150 words long, that analyzes the source. An annotated bibliography usually looks like any other bibliography with alphabetized citations of sources, except that here each source is followed by an explanatory paragraph. This work can form the basis of a literature review later in the writing process. The purpose of the annotation is to inform on the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

What isn't an annotated bibliography?

An annotation is not only a summary of the source in question. It should be a short but critical analysis as to why and how the source fits into the larger research question. An abstract functions as a summary, an annotation should be contextual to the specific topic at hand. It should be both descriptive and evaluative. 

Types of annotations:

  • Descriptive: states the topic of the source only
  • Evaluative: evaluates the source, which may include placing the work in context of other research or evaluating its usefulness. This is the type expected for most research assignments. 
  • Summary: summarizes the source but does not take a stance or make an argument about the source.

What About Formatting?

Most of the major citation styles call for a hanging first line on annotated bibliographies. This means the first line of the citation will align with the left margin of the page, and all subsequent lines of the citation and annotation will indent to the right. 

Annotated Bibliography Samples

APA

Stoll, J. S., Leslie, H. M., Britsch, M. L. & Cleaver, C. M. (2019). Evaluating aquaculture as a diversification strategy for Maine's commercial fishing sector in the face of change. Marine Policy, 107(103583), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103583

This article discusses the growth of the aquaculture sector in Maine and analyzes the overlap between commercial fishing licenses and aquaculture leases and licenses to determine the extent to which commercial fishers are diversifying into aquaculture. A small percentage of commercial fishers are licensed to do aquaculture and instead, those getting into aquaculture appear to be a new group of ocean users. This has implications for efforts to diversify commercial fishing-dependent livelihoods as a response to climate change impacts. This is relevant to my research in which I am exploring the potential for aquaculture to be a diversification strategy for commercial fishermen. I will likely use this source as supporting evidence that such a transition does not currently appear to be taking place other than for a minority of commercial fishermen.

Chicago Notes & Bibliography

Stoll, Joshua S., Heather M. Leslie, Melissa L. Britsch, and Caitlin M. Cleaver. "Evaluating Aquaculture as a Diversification Strategy for Maine's Commercial Fishing Sector in the Face of Change." Marine Policy 107, (2019): 103583.

This article discusses the growth of the aquaculture sector in Maine and analyzes the overlap between commercial fishing licenses and aquaculture leases and licenses to determine the extent to which commercial fishers are diversifying into aquaculture. A small percentage of commercial fishers are licensed to do aquaculture and instead, those getting into aquaculture appear to be a new group of ocean users. This has implications for efforts to diversify commercial fishing-dependent livelihoods as a response to climate change impacts. This is relevant to my research in which I am exploring the potential for aquaculture to be a diversification strategy for commercial fishermen. I will likely use this source as supporting evidence that such a transition does not currently appear to be taking place other than for a minority of commercial fishermen.

MLA

The annotation should be indented one inch from the start of the citation, while the hanging indent should be indented half an inch.

Stoll, Joshua S., et al. "Evaluating Aquaculture as a Diversification Strategy for Maine's Commercial Fishing Sector in the Face of Change." Marine Policy, vol. 107, 2019, pp. 103583.

This article discusses the growth of the aquaculture sector in Maine and analyzes the overlap between commercial fishing licenses and aquaculture leases and licenses to determine the extent to which commercial fishers are diversifying into aquaculture. A small percentage of commercial fishers are licensed to do aquaculture and instead, those getting into aquaculture appear to be a new group of ocean users. This has implications for efforts to diversify commercial fishing-dependent livelihoods as a response to climate change impacts. This is relevant to my research in which I am exploring the potential for aquaculture to be a diversification strategy for commercial fishermen. I will likely use this source as supporting evidence that such a transition does not currently appear to be taking place other than for a minority of commercial fishermen.

How to create this format

In Microsoft Word

  1. Highlight your citations and annotations.
  2. Open Format > Paragraph. Alternatively, highlight the text, right-click and select Paragraph.
  3. Under Indentation, there is a drop down menu for Special options. This includes the Hanging First Line.

In Google Docs

  1. Highlight your citations and annotations.
  2. In the  menu, click on Format, then go down to Align & indent, then click on Indentation options.
  3. In the Indentation options menu, under Special, select Hanging.