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INST 2602: Making Art, Making Meaning

Resources and information relevant to the topics discussed in INST 2602.


Types of Annotated Bibliographies

Summary annotations

  •    Sum up the general content
  •    Give overviews of the arguments and evidence expressed in the work, including the conclusion
  •    Leave out judgement or critical thoughts
  •    Describe approach or methodology when appropriate

Informative annotation

  •    Can be read like a straight summary of the source material, but can also include relevant information about the author or the work itself

Indicative annotation

  •    Similar to a general summary but does not attempt to include actual information from the argument itself. Instead, it gives general information about what kinds of questions or issues are addressed by the work.


  •    evaluate the source or author critically (biases, lack of evidence, objective, etc.)
  •    show how the work may or may not be useful for a particular field of study or audience
  •    explain how researching this material was used in your own research


  •    An annotated bibliography may combine elements of all the types. In fact, most of them fall into this category: a little summarizing and describing, a little evaluation.

Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill. (n.d.). The writing center: Annotated bibliographies. Retrieved from

Language to Try!

Here are some helpful terms to use when summarizing language. Try to use a wide variety of vocabulary to summarize your resources.

account for clarify describe exemplify indicate question
analyze compare depict exhibit investigate recognize
argue conclude determine explain judge reflect
assess criticize distinguish frame justify refer to
assert defend evaluate identify narrate report
assume define emphasize illustrate persuade review
claim demonstrate examine imply propose suggest


The evidence indicates that . . . The article assesses the effect of . . .
The author identifies three reasons for . . . The article questions the view that . . .

source: University of Toronto

What is an annotated bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies are descriptive and evaluative lists of resources. They may include citations to books, journal/magazine articles, web sites, or other materials. Annotated bibliographies start with a citation which is followed by a brief paragraph that describes and also evaluated the information.

A typical annotation contains the following information in approximately 150 words:

  • Author information: Who is the author? What is her/his educational/professional background? Are they qualified to write about this topic?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of this research? Is the purpose stated or implied?  
  • Audience information: To what audience is the author writing (scholars, teachers, the general public, etc.)? Is this reflected in the author's style of writing or presentation?
  • Author bias: Does the author show any biases or make assumptions upon which the rationale of the article rests? If so, what are they?
  • Methodological information: How did the researcher obtain the data?
  • Conclusion: What conclusions does the author draw? Are these conclusions specifically stated or implied?
  • Conclusion justification: Are the conclusions justified from the research or experience? Are the conclusions in sync with the original purpose of the research and supported by the data? Are the conclusions skewed by bias?
  • Relationship to other works: How does this work compare with others cited? Does it conflict with conventional wisdom, established scholarship, government policy, etc.? 
  • Time frame: Is the work current? Is this important? How does the time in which it was written reflect on the information contained in this work