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Two Minute Tips for Education Students: Annotated Bibliography

Collection of short tutorials and help screens designed for Purdue's College of Education students and faculty.

Sample abstract from ERIC

Save annotations in EBSCO account

Use the "Create Note" tool and write your annotation. Copy/paste it to your paper.  Or....

Get a FREE EBSCO account, so you can save notes.  Learn how here.  

Save your annotations in your EndNote Basic Account

If you are using your EndNote Basic account to keep track of your references,

  • write your annotation in the the "Reference Notes" field,   
  • then when you are FORMATING  your paper and creating your BIBLIOGRAPHY, choose the STYLE APA ANNOTATION SENTENCE STYLE.


Example of Annotated Bibliographies entries (in APA format)

Goldschneider, F. K., Waite, L. J., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among  young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

Graybosch, A., Scott, G.M. & Garrison, S. (1998).The Philosophy Student Writer's Manual. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Designed to serve as either as a writing guide or as a primary textbook for teaching philosophy through writing, the Manual is an excellent resource for students new to philosophy. Like other books in this area, the Manual contains sections on grammar, writing strategies, introductory informal logic and the different types of writing encountered in various areas of philosophy. Of particular note, however, is the section on conducting research in philosophy. The research strategies and sources of information described there are very much up-to-date, including not only directories and periodical indexes, but also research institutes, interest groups and Internet resources.


Examples of What Your Bibliography Should Not Look Like:

Marieb, Elaine N. (1992).Human Anatomy and Physiology Redwood City, CA: The Benjamin/ Cummings Co.

  • I use this book to get the basic information about arthritis, it was very informative.

Keefe FJ., (1996) Pain in Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 24,279-290

  • I got all the facts about exercising with arthritis and the different types of exercise.

How to write an annotated blbiography

An annotated bibliography is...

  • a list of citations to books, articles, and documents
  • in an appropriate style format  i.e.,APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.
  • with brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraphs -- the annotations (or abstracts).

The annotations inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.



  • First, locate books, articles, reports, etc.  Use library databases like ERIC,  Education Source  or Google Scholar.  Get help on this at   
  • Select those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  • Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
  • Write  (do not copy the abstract from the database) a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that:

o    evaluate the authority or background of the author,

o    comment on the intended audience,

o    compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or

o    explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

The annotation should include most, if not all, of the following:

  • Explanation of the main purpose and scope of the cited work;
  • Brief description of the work's format and content;
  • Theoretical basis and currency of the author's argument;
  • Author's intellectual/academic credentials;
  • Work's intended audience;
  • Value and significance of the work as a contribution to the subject under consideration;
  • Possible shortcomings or bias in the work;
  • Any significant special features of the work (e.g., glossary, appendices, particularly good index);
  • Your own brief impression of the work.

An annotated bibliography is an original work created by you. Don't copy the annotation from the book introduction or jacket.  Write it yourself. Copying is plagiarism and intellectual dishonesty.



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Jerilyn Tinio
Stewart Center 341
(765) 496-0904

How to write an abstract