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CM 615: Intercultural Communication: Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliographies--What Are They?

Your professor may ask you to write an annotated bibliography rather than a paper.  An annotated bibliography is a list of sources on a certain topic with a brief description of each source.

Each entry in an annotated bibliography should include all the information normally included in a list of works cited. Use the appropriate bibliographic format for citations (such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) as specified by your instructor.

The bibliographic information is followed by an annotation. This annotation can be a few sentences or a lengthy paragraph that describes and evaluates the content of the source. If you have questions about how detailed or evaluative the annotations should be, ask your instructor.

Sample Annotation in APA

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.

For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide.

Example taken from Purdue Online Writing Lab

Websites

It can be helpful to see examples and consult experts when you're constructing an annotated bibliography. The following websites are excellent guides.

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