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Library 101

Basics of Annotated Bibliographies

Why do an annotated bibliography?

  • To use research to support your argument or theories
  • To articulate your evaluation and summary of the material
  • To share your expertise of the material with others
  • To add to the scholarly conversation on your topic 

What does an annotated bibliography contain?

  • A citation in the appropriate style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)
  • Summary of the main points or purpose of the work
  • An evaluation of the research.  An easy way to remember what to evaluate is to use the CRAAP test (below)
  • A conclusion or reflection about the research.  

Adapted from Annotated Bibliographies, The Writing Center University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  https://writing

Currency - Relevance - Authority - Accuracy - Purpose

What's an Annotated Bibliography?

Annotated Bibliography Links

Annotated Bibliography Quiz

Abstracts: A Definition

An abstract is a condensed version of a larger piece of writing.  An abstract is concise and clear and includes the major points, purpose, methods and scope of the original work.

Two Types of Abstracts

Descriptive Abstracts

  • tell readers what information the report, article, or paper contains
  • do not provide results, conclusions, or recommendation
  • do not make judgments of the report, article, or paper
  • are usually very short, 100 words or less

Informative Abstracts

  • communicate specific information from the report, article, or paper
  • include the purpose, methods, and scope of the report, article, or paper
  • provide the report, article, or paper's results, conclusions, and recommendations
  • include findings from your analysis, research, and investigations
  • include a brief summary of your conclusion
  • are short - from a paragraph to two pages
  • the majority of abstracts are informative


Works cited:

Elements of an Abstract


All abstracts include:

  • A full citation of the source, preceding the abstract.
  • The most important information first.
  • The same type and style of language found in the original, including technical language.
  • Key words and phrases that quickly identify the content and focus of the work.
  • Clear, concise, and powerful language.

Abstracts may include:

  • The thesis of the work, usually in the first sentence.
  • Background information that places the work in the larger body of literature.
  • The same chronological structure as the original work.

How not to write an abstract:

  • Do not refer extensively to other works.
  • Do not add information not contained in the original work.
  • Do not define terms.

(This list of elements is adapted  from Philip Koopman's, “How to Write an Abstract.”; and the UNC-CH writing abstracts page.)

Words Matter

It is important to be purposeful when writing your abstract. You need to be concise and precise. Use active language that describes your work. Be purposeful when choosing your key words to describe your work. Use terms that easily identify your research and methods.

When do People Write Abstracts?

When do we use abstracts?

  • when submitting articles to journals, especially online journals
  • when applying for research grants
  • when writing a book proposal
  • when completing the Ph.D. dissertation or M.A. thesis
  • when writing a proposal for a conference paper
  • when writing a proposal for a book chapter

From the UNC-CH Writing Abstracts Page


Details About Abstracts

Follow the links above to learn more about writing abstracts.

From the UNC-CH writing center read carefully the following sections:

  • When do people write abstracts?
  • Types of abstracts
  • All abstracts include

From the USC writing center link read carefully the following sections:

  • Types of abstracts
  • Writing Style
  • What the abstract should not contain

Abstracts Quiz