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CSE Scientific Style and Format: Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Biblography?

A list of resources such as books, articles, Web sites, and documents. The entries in an annotated bibliography consist of a citation and a short descriptive and evaluative paragraph, which is the annotation. Annotated are used to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy and the choice of resources used by the writer.


Annotations vs. Abstracts

Why can't I just copy the abstract? An abstract describes the the content of the article. Annotations have a descriptive and critial tone. They should relate to the author's point of view and authority of the resource.

How do I Write an Annotation?

The annotation should be concise and provide a brief analysis of the resource.

Locate the item and note the information needed to cite the book, article, Web site or document in the correct style for your subject. You should review the actual resources. Choose the resources that provide a variety of perspective on your topic.

Write a short entry that summarizes the major theme and scope of the work. You should quote one or more passages or quotes that provide an evaluation of the authority of the author, what type of audience the resources is intended for, and compare and contrast the material or with other resources you have included in your annotated bibliography.  You should also explain how this resource will be viable to your research topic.


Sample Annotated Bibliography

The following entries are adapted from a bibliography prepared by Susan Grujevski for her paper “How successfully did Natalie Davis interpret the "hidden world of peasant sentiment and aspiration" in Martin Guerre?”  The citations follow the style of the examples in Rampolla’s A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. The citations are formated using the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition.

BOOK Example:

Davis, Natalie Zemon. The Return of Martin Guerre. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.

            This narrative is the main focus of my argument.  A valuable contribution to the understanding of the Martin Guerre story, with considerable detail and  
            references to ambiguities which create a large number of interesting and innovative approaches to the study of sixteenth-century French peasantry.



Davis, Natalie Zemon. “On the Lame.” American Historical Review 93, no.3 (1988): 572-603.

              In this article, Davis thoroughly defends her interpretation of the Martin Guerre story, outlining the reasoning behind her approaches, and contributing        
              more complexity to her characterizations.  This article informed much of my approach to Davis’ interpretation.

Pringle, Helen and Elizabeth W. Prior. “Inventing Martin Guerre: An Interview with Natalie Zemon Davis.” Southern Review 19, no. 3 (1986): 229-241.

             Davis makes clear her intentions to depict the story of Martin Guerre as one revealing many ambiguities.  A notable element of this interview was    
             the influence on Davis when observing Gerard Depardieu assume his role for the movie.  Entertaining to read Davis’ thoughts in the form of an   
             interview, expressed in a simple and direct manner, which assisted my understanding of her approaches to The Return of Martin Guerre.

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