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Writing Your Paper

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a "list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.”

Cornell University Library. (n.d.). How to prepare an annotated bibliography: The annotated bibliography [LibGuide]. Retrieved September 23, 2020,

Writing a Good Annotated Bibliography 

To write a good annotated bibliography you need to be: 

  • Concise: Get to the point of what the book/article is about, summarize as briefly and clearly as you can.

  • Evaluative: Determine the author's identity, expertise/relationship to the topic, and how reliable the information presented is.

  • Critical: Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the work, what is missing, what could be explored further, etc.

  • Comparative: Describe how the source compares to other similar works.

Questions to Consider 

Keep these in mind while you are writing your annotated bibliography: 

  • Did the author refer to other scholars' research?

  • Does the source show any intended or accidental bias?

  • What was the thesis of the research, the opinion of the book, or the conclusion of the study?

  • Was there a hypothesis, method, and/or conclusion?

  • Does the source suggest areas for further research?

  • Finally, how will this source relate to your topic?


APA Style 

Meier, E.S., Lischke, H., Schmatz, D.R., & Zimmermann, N.E. (2012). Climate, competition and connectivity affect future migration and ranges of European trees. Global Ecology & Biogeography, 21(2), 164-178.

Plant species have adapted to altering climate conditions, but it remains unclear if species will be able to keep pace with recent and future climate change. The goal of the study is to assess the influence of changing macroclimate, competition and habitat connectivity on the migration rates of 14 tree species. To predict future species ranges from the models, researchers applied three migration scenarios: no migration, unlimited migration and realistic migration. The study concludes that Migration rates depend on species traits, competition, spatial habitat configuration and climatic conditions. As a result, re-adjustments of species ranges to climate and land-use change are complex and very individualistic, yet still quite predictable.


MLA Style

Yves Bergeron, et al. "Response of Northeastern North American Forests to Climate Change: Will Soil Conditions Constrain Tree Species Migration?" Environmental Reviews 18.1 (2010): 279-289.

Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. At the continental scale, climate plays a major role in determining plant distribution, while at the local and regional scales vegetation patterns are more strongly related to edaphic and topographic factors. Considering the broad tolerance of most tree species to variations in soil factors, soils should not represent a major constraint for the northward shift of tree species.  Locally or regionally, soil properties may constrain species migration.

Extra Resources 

Check out these resources for more information on how to write an annotated bibliography: 

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