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Boatwright Memorial Library

FYS 100 (7) The Art of the Picture Book (Leeper)

Annotated Bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography? 

An annotated bibliography, as defined by the Purdue OWL Guide, is a list of sources that includes a summary and evaluation of each source. This includes every source you referenced, whether it is a photo, news article, scholarly paper, or tweet. Each of these types of sources requires different bits of information in the citation. Most of your sources will presumably be available online, so be sure to check the Citing Sources Guide or resources like Purdue OWL to see how you should cite sources like:

  • Audiovisual materials like Movies, Photos, YouTube videos, Podcasts, or Music
  • Sources that you find online, including anything web-based- from encyclopedia or Wikipedia entries, scholarly articles from a database, social media posts or Tweets, or a news article from a website.

Summary: The summary paragraph should share:

• The author’s credentials (i.e. are they a professor? A journalist? A documentarian? A community historian?). These are just some examples. It is also important to note where they work, if relevant.

• What kind of source it is (primary, secondary, article, book, online website, etc.).

• Who published the source (if relevant).

• A brief summary of what the source says/communicates (2-3 sentences).


Evaluation: The evaluation paragraph is a crucial element of the annotated bibliography. It should share why this particular source is relevant, the overall effectiveness of the source (e.g. to inform, to convince, to teach, etc.), and how it could be important to understanding the topic at hand. Your evaluation will help justify and explain why you chose each source and help your reader know where to start if they want to learn more about your topic.

Here is an example:

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