MUS 133: Musics of the Spanish Colonial Empire, ca. 1500-1800

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph after each citation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source cited.

Level of Detail
Some annotated bibliographies will call for a cursory description in preparation for a research project, while others will require more detailed analysis. Ask your professor about the level of detail needed in the annotations.

Bibliographies are traditionally arranged by Author and then Title or Year, and this arrangement can be used for annotated bibliographies as well. However, it may make more sense to organize an annotated bibliography thematically or chronologically. Use your own judgment, or ask your professor for guidance.

Formatting Citations

Using EndNote, Zotero, or another citation manager to create your bibliography?  Citation managers tend to be extremely faulty when it comes to music citations.  For sources in Music, it's best to generate your citations manually, or modify your citation manager styles to cite musical sources correctly.

See "A Guide for Music Citation" from Indiana University Libraries for example of how to cite sources in Music, or ask a librarian for help.


An example from Abstract Expressionist Women Painters: An Annotated Bibliography:

For more examples, search the library catalog for the keyword phrase annotated bibliography in the title.


Use this sheet to help you organize your thoughts while looking at a source you plan to include in an annotated bibliography. Use one sheet per source.