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Writing Annotated Bibliographies: Home

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Looking for Writing Help?

Contact the Director of the Theological Writing Center:

Rev. James Brumm

Phone: (732) 247-5241


Building an Annotated Bibliography Tutorial

Online Tools

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, journal articles, online sources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and documents.  

Each citation is followed by a brief (about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph. The purpose of an annotation is to provide information to the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the selected sources.

Identifying Resources

Primary Resources:

A primary source is a first-hand or contemporary account of an event or topic. They are the most direct evidence of a time or event because they were created by people or things that were there at the time or event. These sources have not been modified by interpretation and offer original thought or new information.

Secondary Resources:

A secondary source is something written about a primary source. Secondary source materials can be articles in newspapers or popular magazines, book or movie reviews, or articles found in scholarly journals that evaluate or criticize someone else's original research.

Tertiary Resources:

These are distillation and collection of primary and secondary sources. They can include general encyclopedias and dictionaries, as well as magazines and newspapers.


Resource: Turabian, Kate L., Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. 


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