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Putting Faith to Work (IN/PE709): Analysing Annotated Bibliographies

This topic provides instruction in preparing an Annotated Bibliography.

How do I use this page?

The two boxes on this page have sample Annotated Bibliographies for you to investigate. 

For each sample:

  • Look at the citation
  • Read the annotated bibliography
  • Please try to analyse each sample yourself BEFORE you read the answers!


  • Citation
  • Summary of the argument
  • Evaluation
  • Personal reflection
  • Anything else?

Samples 1- 7 have been colour coded and have additional comments. Samples 8 - 10 have comments only. 

Annotated Bibliographies: Long samples

Sample 1

Battle, K. Child poverty: The evolution and impact of child benefits. In Covell, K., & Howe, R.B. (Eds), A question of commitment: Children's rights in Canada (pp. 21-44). Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Press. 2007. 

Ken Battle draws on a close study of government documents, as well as his own research and extensively-published policy analyst, to explain Canadian child benefit programs. He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children. His comparison of child poverty rates in a number of countries is a useful wake-up call to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children. Battle pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve to be criticised by journalists and politicians. He outlines the NCB's development, costs and benefits, and laments that the Conservative government scaled it back in favour of the inferior Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). However, he relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography. He could make this work stronger by drawing from others' perspectives and analysis. However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents. This offers context for analysing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada. 


  • Citation: How should you record Editors"in Chicago-17?
  • Citation: where should you incorporate page numbers in Chicago-17? (Hint: Should you???)
  • A good example of combining analysis and summary effectively
  • BUT avoid colloquialisms and personal reflection before analysis


Sample 2

Garrow, David J. Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.


Garrow describes how the strategy of protest employed by Martin Luther King Jr, and SCLC at Selma influence the emergence of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He contends that the choice of Selma as a site for civil rights protests and the specific tactics that the SCLC adopted in Selma were a part of a plan to force the introduction and passage of national voting rights legislation. The foremost consideration in this campaign was the need to elicit "unprovoked white violence aimed at peaceful and unresisting civil rights demonstrators". Garrow argues that at Selma "a strategy that bordered on non violent provocation supplanted the earlier belief in nonviolent persuasion." SCLC correctly assumed that police violence would generate national media coverage and this, in turn, would stimulate reactions ":throughout the country, and especially Washington", leading to pressure for federal voting rights legislation. 


  • Citation: This citation is correct ASSUMING that the book has ONLY given the author's initial, and not their complete first name.
  • ALL summary BUT it's not a useful summary - too much detail. What is the place of quotations in an annotated bibliography? Your word count is too precious for this. 
  • Quotations aren't referenced.

Sample 3 

Kim, Hyun Jeong, Cynthia McCahon, and Judy Miller. “Assessing Service Quality in Korean Casual-Dining Restaurants Using DINESERV.” Journal of Foodservice Business Research 6, no. 1 (2003): 67-87.

This study applies DINESERV (a quality service tool originally developed by Knutson, Patton, and Stevens) to Korean casual-dining restaurants. The authors (professors of hospitality, management, and dietetics, respectively) successfully demonstrate that DINESERV is a valid instrument for measuring service quality in Korea. Since previous studies using DINESERV had been based only in the US or the UK, this study has important implications for anyone interested in the international dimensions of service quality.


  • Citation accurate. Note the use of page numbers for a journal entry
  • A good brief summary
  • Analysis includes its value, but doesn't enlarge on these implications


Sample 4

Lee, Seok-hoon, Yong-pil Kim, Nigel Hemmington, and Deok-kyun Yun. “Competitive Service Quality Improvement (CSQI): A Case Study in the Fast-Food Industry.” Food Service Technology 4 (2004): 75-84.

In this highly technical paper, three industrial engineering professors in Korea and one services management professor in the UK discuss the mathematical limitations of the popular SERVQUAL scales. Significantly, they also aim to measure service quality in the fast-food industry, a neglected area of study. Unfortunately, the paper’s sophisticated analytical methods make it inaccessible to all but the most expert of researchers.


  • Citation accurate
  • A helpful blend of description and analysis
  • Perhaps the stated criticism could be demonstrated, at least briefly e.g. technical and inaccessible

Annotated Bibliographies: Poor samples (Why?)

Sample 5 

Davidson, Hilda ElliaRoles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998.

Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts. 


  • The summation is very clear
  • There is no analysis
  • Even if your entry NEEDS to be short, it must still show the value of the resource.

Sample 6

Battle, K. (2007). Child poverty: The evolution and impact of child benefits. In Covell, K., & Howe, R.B. (Eds), A question of commitment: Children's rights in Canada (pp. 21-44). Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Press. Laurier University.

Children's rights in Canada are very important and Battle is an excellent advocate of these rights. 


  • Citation is quite inaccurate. Where should year, editor and pages be located? 
  • Note the difference between a true statement which is not necessarily a valid summary of the content
  • Be careful about introducing subjective opinion with no analysis to back this
  • Even though this is not a complete book, but just one chapter, this citation is still too short. Remember that even if you record a short annotation, it must still have value. The value comes in appropriate mix of analysis and description (contents), even if short. 

Sample 7

Garrow, David J. Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.

Martin Luther King was a very good man, and I think he should be considered a national hero.


  • Consider the difference between a personal "thought" and a "reflection" - the latter is more an implication, further study or action based upon the actual content and analysis. i.e. it still has value, purpose within the context of analysing the resource.

Sample Anotated Bibliographies: Work

Sample 8

Amy Sherman, Kingdom Calling (2012) Provides a theological framework connecting work, business and the economy to the gospel, the kingdom, the mission of the church and the shalom of the community. Interacts with the existing theology of work literature and provides extensive practical advice, especially for local church congregations. See also Sherman’s appearance with Scott Rae at the 2011 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, sponsored by the Oikonomia Network.


Sample 9

Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor (2012) A solid and somewhat challenging introduction to the basics of connecting faith with work for the sake of faithful Christian living and witness. A distinctive of this book is the emphasis on “narrative” and the way it shapes our lives and our work. It also makes some connections to larger issues of how Christianity relates to cultural and economic systems. In terms of accessibility this is somewhat more difficult than the average popular book, but still within most people’s reach.

Sample 10

Miroslav Volf, Work in the Spirit (2001) Volf attempts a comprehensive theology of work and economics. Some pieces are valuable, such as his emphasis on the role of the Spirit in equipping us for work. However, Volf’s uncritical assimilation of profoundly anti-Christian Marxist and Weberian economic and political theories badly taints his analysis.


  • The difference between a book review and an annotation e.g. Is the Keller/Alsdorf  paragraph a review or an objective annotation?
  • Avoid bias in your analysis, especially re anti-Christian or non-evangelical perspectives.
  • Note that all three sources have only abbreviated titles in their citations - these are comments from a lecturer, rather than accurately recorded citations.
  • It is good to use comparative analysis and relate sources to other similar works, but do so sparingly - your word count is very limited.
  • These samples also indicate that it IS quite reasonable to have shorter responses, e.g. maybe only 75 words or a couple of sentences in length. But even short annotations must show understanding of the content of the resource AND provide some comment on its value.

Source: Greg Forster, October 31, 2014 (Details intentionally omitted.) 

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Sources Used

  • "Annotated bibliographies." Purdue Online Writing Labs. Accessed January 15, 2017.
  • "Annotated bibliographies: Introduction." Brandon University. updated September 17, 2020.
  • "Annotated bibliographies: Samples." Purdue Online Writing Labs. Accessed January 5, 2017.
  • "How to prepare an annotated bibliography: The annotated bibliography." Cornell University Library. Updated December 3, 2020.
  • Kuhns, Judy and Tim Bottorf. Rosen Research Guides, Annotated Bibliographies. University of Central Florida STARS Libraries' Documents. Updated January 21, 2020.
  • "Library: How to write an annotated bibliography." The University of British Columbia. Accessed January 22, 2017.
  • Murray, Paul T. The Civil Rights movement: References and Resources. New York: G.K. Hall & Co., 1993. Quoted in University of Central Florida. UCF Libraries. "Security services: Annotated bibliographies." Accessed January 5, 2017.
  • "Research & Learning Services." Cornell University Library, Olin & Uris Libraries. Accessed January 5, 2017.
  • "Writing an Annotated bibliography: Annotated bibliographies." Roger Williams University. Accessed January 5, 2017.


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