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Journalism - Doctoral Research : The Annotated Bibliography

Step-by-steps, resources, and tips for completing your thesis or dissertation. Also helpful for those wanting general journalism research process information.

Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles and documents followed by a descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.  The annotation is to inform the reader about the quality, relevance and accuracy of the cited source.

The Purpose

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to provide descriptive and critical information about the resources used in a writer’s research process or to serve as a review of the literature published on a specific topic. It also places original research in a historical context.

The Process

1. The process of compiling an annotated bibliography begins with:

  • Locating and recording citations to works that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic
  • Evaluating each work by reading it and noting your findings and impressions
  • Choosing the works that best represent different perspectives on your topic
  • Citing each work in the appropriate style (e.g. MLA, APA, etc.)

2. Once you have your list, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the work. Annotations should include most of the following:

  • Explanation of the main purpose of work
  • Brief description of the work
  • Intended audience
  • Currency of the author’s argument
  • Author’s credentials
  • Value of the work
  • Author’s bias
  • Your own impression of the work

Adapted from UC-Davis Libraries

Last modified: December 20, 2010

Examples of Annotated Bibliographies