Bibliographies are an important part of a Chicago style research paper. At the end of your paper, you are required to include a bibliography of the sources you consulted. Unlike a works cited or reference list, you include all the works you consulted for research, not just the ones you cited in your paper.
What is an Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is a list of relevant sources to a particular topic. Not only does this type of bibliography have cited entries, it also includes an annotation of the source. This annotation is a summary or evaluation of each source.
Types of Annotated Bibliography Entries
A summary annotated entry is a brief explanation of what the information is available, and describes the author and publisher and any other relevant explanation. Your teacher may have you prepare this type of bibliography but generally an evaluative annotation is more useful to a reader.This example covers Chicago/Turabian style. APA and MLA annotated bibliographies follow similar styles but do have differences in their format.
In an evaluative annotation, you’ll need to critically analyze the source so you can explain why and how this source is important to your research.
- Evaluate the authority of the author
- Are they an expert in their field? What are their credentials?
- Identify the intended audience
- How does this source tie into your research?
- You may also compare and contrast the source to others in your bibliography.
Note: Annotations should be 100 to 150 words, depending on your assignment rubric.
Arranging an Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is arranged the same way as a reference list, works cited or bibliography page. Follow the letter by letter alphabetizing by the author(s) last name, first name. If there is no author, use the title, the organization’s name or website.
Annotated Bibliographies as Sources
Many times, annotated bibliographies are published as a whole work. These bibliographies are excellent sources for your research. This annotated bibliography evaluates sources on Civil War activities in the Lorian County, Ohio area.
Creating an annotated bibliography is an excellent way to sharpen your research skills. You will learn to find information about the source, research an author’s background to determine authority, and how to distinguish between a primary and secondary source. Always use a variety of sources in your research.