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REA 091 - Downtown (Severson): Annotated Bibliography

Bibliography vs. Annotated Bibliography vs. Works Cited/References

What is a Bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of all the sources you have used in the process of researching your work, whether referenced in the paper or not.

In general, a bibliography should include:  

  • the authors' names
  • the titles of the works
  • the names and locations of the companies that published your copies of the sources
  • the dates your copies were published
  • the page numbers of your sources (if they are part of multi-source volumes)

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is the same as a bibliography with one important difference: in an annotated bibliography, the bibliographic information is followed by a brief description of the content, quality, and usefulness of the source.

So how Is a Bibliography different from a "Works Cited" or "References" list?

The Works Cited or References list is only comprised of references to those items actually cited in the paper.

Published June 7, 2017  (From

Example: Annotated Bibliography Entry

Kotlowitz, Alex. "Sanctuary Cities Do Not Guarantee Safety for Immigrants." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 5 Nov. 2017. Originally published as "The Limits of Sanctuary Cities," The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2016.

Journalist Alex Kotlowitz queries whether undocumented immigrants can be protected from the federal government.  He traces the rise of sanctuary cities to Tucson, Arizona thirty-four years ago where the Pastor John Fife of the Southside Presbyterian Church offered refuge. While today's sanctuary cities share similar goals to the movement begun by John Fife, the kind of resistance is markedly different, now based on community resistance against local police and the federal government.  Mr. Kotlowitz concludes that there is a limit to the protection that a sanctuary city can offer, and he concludes by relating his recent conversation with the now retired Pastor John Fife.

Annotated Bibliography Defined

Definition: An annotated bibliography is a descriptive and evaluative alphabetical list of sources, cited in a uniform and proper citation format, and followed by an annotation.  They may include citations to books, journal/magazine articles, web sites, or other materials.

Annotation: An annotation is an analytical paragraph of approximately 100-200 words, or three to six sentences. It explains the main purpose and scope of the source, briefly describes format and content, and may also cover the author’s argument as well as his/her academic credentials. It may address the intended audience of the source, and its value and significance to the field of study. The limitations or bias of the source may be addressed along with the writer’s reaction to the source. It may also evaluate the research used in the source as well as the reliability of the source.

What is an Annotated Bibliography (Cornell Univ)

Sample MLA Annotated Bibliography entry (PCC)