Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Skills

Information to help students find, evaluate, reference, and write for their assignments

Annotated bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies give an overview of literature on a certain topic. They can be used to assess the relevance of literature for an assignment, or to help you evaluate the reliability of potential sources, or to simply provide the reader with a summary of sources about a particular topic.

There are two types of annotated bibliographies: descriptive and critical.

A descriptive annotated bibliography provides a summary of the source as well as a full reference.

A critical annotated bibliography will also evaluate the source.


Quick links

 

 Make an appointment with an academic writing expert at Student Learning Services to help you write your annotated bibliography. 


Descriptive annotated bibliographies

Descriptive annotated bibliographies have five parts to them:

  • a reference
  • a description of the research topic
  • a brief outline of the methodology
  • a summary of the findings
  • a statement summarising the study's conclusions

Descriptive annotated bibliographies tend to have a word count of between 150 to 300 words. Your assignment should indicate word count.

Example descriptive annotated bibliography entry


Critical annotated bibliographies

A critical annotated bibliography has all the features of a descriptive annotated bibliography, but provides analysis as well. It has seven parts to it:

  • a reference
  • a description of the research topic
  • a brief outline of the methodology
  • a summary of the findings
  • a statement summarising the study's conclusions
  • a statement identifying the limitations of the research
  • a reflection on how it will or won't contribute to your own research

 

Example descriptive annotated bibliography entry


Writing style advice

  Make sure your sources are in alphabetical order by the author (just as you would do in your reference list).

  Be as concise and specific as you can (you have a small word count). Remove unnecessary words and write short sentences.

  ARTICLE TOPIC:

  • Try not to repeat information/words that are already in the title of the article. It is an unnecessary use of your precious word count.
  • Use words such as argues, asserts, demonstrates, discusses, examines, proves, speculates, suggests. 

(AUT, n.d.)


References

AUT. (n.d.). Annotated bibliographies. AUT Library. https://library.aut.ac.nz/doing-assignments/annotated-bibliographies   

Contact Us
library@wintec.ac.nz

City Campus
(07) 834 8866
Rotokauri
(07) 834 8800 ext 4452