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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Art History Research Guide

Use this guide to help find books, articles, and other useful materials for art history topics.

Write an Annotated Bibliography

When writing an annotated bibliography, remember that you'll need to cite your sources in the same way you would for any Art History project — using Chicago style, which is covered in the Cite Sources section of this page.

An annotated bibliography provides not only a list of correctly cited sources, but also your evaluation of a source and how it will work for you and your project. Not all sources need to be annotated. Sometimes you will be asked to include general reference material in your bibliography. These informative, but non-argumentative texts are referred to as Tertiary Sources. If your instructor requires it, at the base of your annotated bibliography, please note any tertiary sources you will consult for your paper. A tertiary source is a museum website or encyclopedia. These are generally sources that do not require in-text citation, as they are not argumentative. You do not need to write an annotation for these sources

A thorough annotation is 1-2 paragraphs long and includes the following:

  1. Summary
    • What is the resource about?
    • What arguments does the author use? How do they support the arguments?
  2. Evaluation
    • Are the author's arguments convincing?
    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments?
  3. Connection
    • How does this resource help you? How is it useful for your research?  How does it fit in with other resources you’re using?
    • What additional questions does it raise?

A worksheet outlining these questions is available as a Google Doc. You can either make a copy of the Google Doc or download it as a Word file. 

If you have questions about what you should include in your annotations, or have questions about your annotated bibliography, talk to your professor!

An example of a successful annotated bibliography is available either as a Google Doc, or below:

Example of an annotated bibliography

Example of an annotated bibliography