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ENGL 1320: Writing for Social Change

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is an excellent way to organize and evaluate the resources you've collected on your topic. 

Each citation in an annotated bibliography is followed by a paragraph that is both descriptive and evaluative. Your annotation should give the reader a basic understanding of the significant arguments of the source and should include your opinion on the source's usefulness and/or relevance.

Note: an annotation is an original work created by you containing your own summary and value judgment of a source. It is not meant to be an abstract or summary of the source.


Evaluate your sources using the RADAR approach:

Rationale Authority Date Accuracy Relevance
  • What is the purpose of this source?
  • Does the author use objective or emotional language?
  • Is there an obvious or ambiguous bias?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Is this author affiliated with an educational institution or a well-known organization?
  • Is source peer-reviewed? If not, does it come from a well-known, reputable publisher?
  • When was the information published?
  • Is there newer information available that may refute this information?
  • Can the statements made by the author(s) be verified in another source?
  • What statements do other sources make on this topic? Is there some agreement between sources?
  • How was this source fact-checked or reviewed? (Peer-review, editorial review, etc.)
  • How does this source support your thesis?
  • Do you understand the source? Is it too technical? Is it overly simplified?
  • Does the source add something new to your understanding or to your research question?