Skip to main content

Research and Writing

Parts of an Annotation

What do I need to include in my annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography might be an overview of a topic, or it might be something you write in preparation for a specific research essay. Many annotated bibliographies include:

  • A citation to the article, chapter, or other work

  • Qualifications of the author or authors

  • Methods the authors used

  • A summary of the argument and/or findings

  • Evaluation of the work, for example the logic of the arguments or value of the evidence

  • How this work supports your own research

The sample below is in APA style. The citation changes in other styles, but all parts of an annotation are the same. Note that both APA and Chicago require text to be double-spaced, but your instructor might provide other instructions. Also be careful to use indentations accurately. The citation below should be indented after the first line, for example.

The annotation is colour coded to match the parts identified above.

Battle, K. (2007). Child poverty: The evolution and impact of child benefits. In K. Covell & R.B. Howe (Eds.), A question of commitment: Children's rights in Canada (pp. 21-44). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

           Ken Battle draws on a close study of government documents, as well as his own research as an extensively-published policy analyst, to explain Canadian child benefit programs.  He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children.  His comparison of child poverty rates in a number of countries is a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children.  Battle pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve to be criticized by politicians and journalists.  He outlines the NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, and laments that the Conservative government scaled it back in favour of the inferior Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).  However, he relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography.  He could make this work stronger by drawing from others' perspectives and analyses.  However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents.  This offers context for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada.