A bibliography is a list of information sources, such as books, journal articles, Web sites, etc. A bibliography may be the full length of a book, such as Peter Jones's Peacekeeping: An Annotated Bibliography. Also look for bibliographies, or lists of references, at the end of journal articles, books, government reports, etc. See, for example, the the references from the end of a chapter in the book Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent.
An annotated bibliography provides brief commentaries, either (1) descriptive or (2) critical, on the items listed. Selective and critical annotated bibliographies are often called guides to the literature.
1) Example of a descriptive annotation. Taken from Humanities Abstracts, and put into MLA format:
Djwa, Sandra. "P.K. Page: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman." Journal of Canadian Studies 38.1 (2004): 9-22. Web. 10 August 2009.
This essay traces some aspects of the development of P.K. Page (1916-) Canadian poet, writer and visual artist, from her early childhood up to 1944 when she received the Oscar Blumenthal Award for excellence from Poetry (Chicago). It draws upon unpublished letters, photographs, poems and interviews to show that the adolescent Page was exposed to English modernism, especially art and literature in 1934-1935. She read Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield whose feminist and aesthetic concerns inform the progress of some of her early poems and a novella, The Sun and the Moon. Subsequently, in the early 1940s, Page developed a more impersonal poetry in response to T.S. Eliot's objective correlative. The influence of her own early poetry and prose on later writers like Margaret Atwood is briefly indicated.
2) Example of a critical annotation. Taken from Cultural Anthropology by Josephine Z. Kibbee, and put into APA format:
Gulick, J. (2003). The Humanity of Cities: An Introduction to Urban Societies. Granby, MA: Bergin and Garvey.
This overview text uses empirical findings to describe aspects of life in cities and presents theories and interpretations of urban life. Each chapter addresses a set of issues of major concern to urban scholars, such as the evolution of cities, livelihoods, subcultures, and social problems. Included throughout are references to both the classic and contemporary literature in the field, culminating in a bibliography of over 500 items. The subject index is particularly well constructed, providing easy identification of topics such as AIDS and the homeless as well as individual cities and subcultures.
NOTE: Check the Primo Catalogue to see if the items are available in the library.
More information: Creating an Annotated Bibliography