An annotated bibliography is a useful tool to have in your research. It helps you to gather and make sense of your research.
Annotated bibliographies are comprised of two essential parts: 1] a citation for a resource related to your topic, and 2] an annotation, or short paragraph detailing a summary of your source and why it would be helpful for your argument.
Usually, the second part is short, with the goal of being as clear and concise as possible. However, sometimes instructors will require more or less text for your annotations, so always follow their guidelines for your assignment.
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry
Here are a few sample entries for an annotated bibliography on the artist Helen Frankenthaler. The citations below are in Chicago Style, 17th Edition.
Goddard, Donald and Robert Rosenblum. American Painting. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., distributed by Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990.
A survey of American painting which contains primarily illustrations, with a brief text. Frankenthaler's contribution is discussed in the chapter, "Refiguring Abstract Expressionism." One paragraph on Frankenthaler's style is provided.
Burnham, Sophy. "Portrait of the Artist as a Woman." New Woman (June 1990): 94-99.
This is an account of women artists' status in the contemporary art world of 1990. Burnham says that although progress has been made, the situation is far from desirable. She substantiates her statement with quotes from artists. Frankenthaler speaks about the solitude that is needed for concentration in creative work. Burnham mentions that Frankenthaler found it impossible to be a single mother and a painter. The author provides statistics on women's participation in major exhibits here and abroad.
Examples are from the book: Puniello, Françoise S. and Halina R. Rusak. Abstract Expressionist Women Painters: An Annotated Bibliography. Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1996.