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GGRC26: Geographies of Environmental Governance

This guide will help you find scholarly sources to support your annotated bibliography and final research paper.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography provides an overview of the research that has been done on a given topic. It is composed of an alphabetical list of research sources. Each source has two components:

  • A reference (bibliographic data about the source), prepared in a specific citation style (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago)
  • An annotation, which includes a summary of the source and/or an assessment of its value or relevance

An annotated bibliography may be one stage of a research project, or a stand-alone project.

Writing an Annotation


The annotation should briefly summarize the main argument of the research source. It should identify the source's:

  • Thesis, research question, or hypothesis
  • Major methods of investigation
  • Conclusion

When summarizing, try to avoid listing the source's contents. Instead, try to think about why the contents are there. For example, what is the author trying to prove in the source? What is emphasized in the text?

Value and Relevance

Your professor may also want you to explain the value or relevance of your chosen sources. To do so:

  • Assess the source's contribution to the research topic
  • Discuss why the source is relevant to your research paper or how you intend to use it in your assignment

Need More Help?


The following example was created by Writing at the University of Toronto:

McIvor, S. D. (1995). Aboriginal women's rights as "existing rights." Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, 2/3, 34-38.

     This article seeks to define the extent of the civil and political rights returned to aboriginal women in the Constitution Act (1982), in its amendment in 1983, and in amendments to the Indian Act (1985). This legislation reverses prior laws that denied Indian status to aboriginal women who married non-aboriginal men. On the basis of the Supreme Court of Canada's interpretation of the Constitution Act in R. v. Sparrow (1991), McIvor argues that the Act recognizes fundamental human rights and existing aboriginal rights, granting to aboriginal women full participation in the aboriginal right to self-government.