Skip to main content

Annotated Bibliography

Your academic work is only as good as the sources of information used to inform it. The reader of your work will make a judgement about the sources you have used.

5 things you need to know...

An annotated bibliography provides the following details to illustrate the quality and appropriateness of your text:

  1. Concise summary of the resources used for the academic work.
  2. Comments about why and how you have used the information.
  3. A list and a brief critical analysis (annotation) of the research you have used, often presented in a tabular format.
  4. Full bibliographic details in the referencing style of your subject should be used (Havard, APA,  Oscola).   

Include specific information such as: 

  • Author - who wrote the text? why? what experience have they?
  • Brief summary of text - what are the aims and conclusions made?
  • Why did you use this information - mention: reliability of the research; who was the intended audience? why did you like this text? what were the limitations of the text?
  • A reflection - how did you use the text?

Need to know more...

We have produced resources to help you to develop your skills in this area.  You will find a factsheet on this topic below, plus others you may find useful.  See also the Online and Books tabs above.  

Related factsheets

Look at Staffordshire University Library's RefZone.  


Need more advice?

You can also discuss your development of this skill with a member of the Academic Skills Team.

Make an appointment for an online discussion or email support  by using our online booking form.

Personalising your device and using assistive tools

There are many assistive technology tools which can help you choose how you want to access material and these can really improve your productivity.

The University has made some applications available on the student PCs within the library and IT Centres; others are free for you to download and use on your own devices (phone, tablet, laptop or computer) .  Find out more on our personalising standard software guide and our assistive tools and software guide.