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Library Orientation/N602 Epidemiology for Orange Campus

Annotated Bibliography

A bibliography is a summary of works or resources being used and cited for researching a topic. Annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. An annotated bibliography provides a summary and evaluation of each cited resources. (OWL @ Purdue)

Key elements include:

  1. ​​Citation in the appropriate format (e.g. APA, MLA)
  2. Summarize the content, explain the main points and/or purpose of the work

  3. Critically evaluate the qualification and authority of the author

  4. Evaluate the quality and usefulness of the work in terms of the topics being researched. How does this work compare with other resources in your bibliography? Any bias? What is the purpose or target audience of this work?

  5. Reflect how this work related to your own research. Does this work help you shape your argument or research direction? How can you apply this work into your research?

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill: Annotated Bibliography. Retrieved from


Annotated bibliography may include the first two elements (e.g. summarizing annotation), the first four or all of the above (e.g. evaluation annotation). Follow the specific guidelines provided by your instructor if it is a class assignment.


How to evaluate resources

You may use the RADAR (relevance, authority, date, accuracy, and rationale) framework to help you evaluate your sources.

Step 1: Citation: Cite the source correctly using a referencing style (such as MLA).

Step 2: Relevance/Main Purpose: How does this source relate to your topic?  What does this source add to the general knowledge on your topic?

Step 3: Relevance/Audience: What is the intended audience level of this source and is it appropriate for your topic?

Step 4: Authority/Author: Qualifications of the author (e.g., John Smith, a Russian history professor at USC, based his research on recently discovered documents).  Is this source cited by other sources writing on the same topic?

Step 5: Accuracy/Evidence: Are the author’s claims supported by evidence in the form of references, citations, endnotes, or a bibliography?

Step 6: Rationale/Bias: Is there a bias in relation to your topic (e.g., “However, Smith’s case is somewhat weakened by an anti-German bias”)? State whether or not bias is present.



Annotated Bibliography Examples:

Annotated Bibliography Example

From: Purdue Online Writing Lab and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - the Writing Center


Literature Review and Useful Links for writing annotated bibliography