Welcome to the Purdue OWL
For a sample of an entry from an annotated bibliography entry in PDF, click on the downloadable file in the media box above.
Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations.
Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.
Sample MLA Annotation
Lamott, Anne.Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . Anchor Books, 1995.
Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic. In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun.
Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.
Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.
In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.
For information on formatting MLA citations, see our MLA 2016 Formatting and Style Guide.
Sample APA Annotation
Ehrenreich, B. (2001).Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America . New York: 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.
Sample Chicago Manual Style Annotation
Davidson, Hilda Ellis.Roles of the Northern Goddess . London: Routledge, 1998.
Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs
of relevant artifacts.
This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.
Our CMS Formatting and Style Guide is forthcoming. For information on formatting Chicago Style citations, click here.
If you are having trouble locating a specific resource please visit thesearch page or the Site Map.
These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area.
These OWL resources will help you with the types of writing you may encounter while in college. The OWL resources range from rhetorical approaches for writing, to document organization, to sentence level work, such as clarity. For specific examples of writing assignments, please see our Common Writing Assignments area.
Common Writing Assignments
These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.
These OWL resources will help you with sentence level organization and style. This area includes resources on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.
Exercises relating to spelling can be found here.
Exercises relating to numbering can be found here.
Exercises relating to sentence structure can be found here.
Exercises relating to sentence style can be found here.
These OWL resources will help you use correct grammar in your writing. This area includes resources on grammar topics, such as count and noncount nouns, articles (a versus an), subject-verb agreement, and prepositions.
Grammar-related exercises can be found here.
These OWL resources will help you with punctuation, such as using commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, and hyphens.
These OWL resources will help you understand and work with rhetorical theories regarding visual and graphical displays of information. This area includes resources on analyzing and producing visual rhetoric, working with colors, and designing effective slide presentations.
The undergraduate application section contains resources to help you through the process of applying to undergraduate institutions. This section contains an overview of applying to undergraduate institutions, words of advice from undergraduate admissions officials from all over the US, and information on writing effective application essays.
Graduate School Applications
The graduate school application section contains resources to help you through the process of applying to graduate school. This section contains an overview of applying to graduate school, words of advice on writing graduate school profiles to help with your decision making, drafting a graduate school personal statement, and the etiquette of requesting references.
Please note, that these resources focus on applying to graduate studies programs in the United States. The information contained in these resources may or may not be appropriate to other contexts.
The resources in this section are dedicated to written personal correspondence. This section discusses personal letter writing and newsletter writing.
Community Engaged Writing
This section includes resources on community engagement as it relates to writing assignments.
Media File Index
The resources in this section contain links to all the media files found on the Purdue OWL. In this section, you can click on links that will take you to a resource where you can view or download a PowerPoint presentation or workshop, sample paper, sample employment document, vidcast, podcast, or Flash movie.
General Writing FAQs
The following FAQs address various general issues concerning writing. The entries in this section are based on frequently asked questions about writing that have been sent to our former team of Purdue OWL Mail Tutors. You should also scan the General Writing section of the Purdue OWL for answers to your questions.
Writing Center Directory
Can't find what you're looking for on the OWL? Want some one-on-one help with your writing? Do you prefer talking to a live human instead of reading text on your computer? Check out the Writing Center Directory to find a Writing Center near you! It contains information about Writing Centers all over the world.
Category: Annotated bibliography