What does this source provide that reinforces the argument or claim you are
Created in 2015
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
Some of your courses at Ashford University will require you to write an Annotated Bibliography. An
Annotated Bibliography is a working list of references—books, journal articles, online documents,
websites, etc.—that you will use for an essay, research paper, or project. However, each reference
citation is followed by a short summative and/or evaluative paragraph, which is called an annotation. The
purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources
cited, and to state how this source will be used in or relevant to the paper or project.
Thus, an Annotated Bibliography has two main parts:
1. the citation of your book, article, webpage, video, or document (in APA style)
2. your annotation
How to create an Annotated Bibliography
1. Research the required number of scholarly sources from the library for your project.
2. Reference each source in APA format. For help on how to format each source, see our sample
3. Write two paragraphs under each source:
a. The first paragraph is a short summary of the article in your own words. Don’t just cut
and paste the abstract of the article.
b. The second paragraph is a short discussion of how this source supports your paper
topic. What does this source provide that reinforces the argument or claim you are
making? This support may be statistics, expert testimony, or specific examples that relate
to your focused topic.
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry
Here is a sample entry from an Annotated Bibliography:
Belcher, D. D. (2004). Trends in teaching English for specific purposes. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics,
24(3), 165-186. doi: 10.1017/S026719050400008X.
This article reviews differing English for Specific Purposes (ESP) trends in practice and in theory. Belcher
categorizes the trends into three non-exclusive sects: sociodiscoursal, sociocultural, and sociopolitical.
Sociodiscoursal, she postulates, is difficult to distinguish from genre analysis because many of the major
players (e.g., Ann Johns) tend to research and write in favor of both disciplines. Belcher acknowledges the
preconceived shortcomings of ESP in general, including its emphasis on “narrowly-defined venues” (p.
Created in 2015
165), its tendency to “help learners fit into, rather than contest, existing…structures” (p. 166), and its
supposed “cookie-cutter” approach. In response to these common apprehensions about ESP, Belcher cites
the New Rhetoric Movement and the Sydney School as two institutions that have influenced progressive
changes and given more depth to “genre” (p. 167). She concludes these two schools of thought address the
issue of ESP pandering to “monologic” communities. Corpus linguistics is also a discipline that is
expanding the knowledge base of ESP practitioners in order to improve instruction in content-specific
areas. Ultimately, she agrees with Swales (1996) that most genres that could help ESL learners are
“hidden…or poorly taught” (p. 167) and the field of genre is only beginning to grasp the multitude of
complexities within this potentially valuable approach to the instruction of language—and in turn, writing.
This article provides examples as well as expert opinion that I can use in my project. This will provide me
with evidence to support my claims about the current disciplines in ESL studies.
Guidelines for Formatting Your Annotated Bibliography
Citations should be cited according to APA format.
Annotations should be indented a half an inch (.5”) so that the author’s last name is the only text
that is completely flush left.