Chicago Annotated Bibliography – Format & Examples

09.12.22 Chicago citation & referencing Time to read: 4min

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A Chicago annotated bibliography is a collection of references, books, papers, and other research sources on a subject that resembles a Works Cited page but adds annotations to each reference.

An annotation is a brief summary or critical analysis of a source that may be included in a broader research endeavor or may stand alone as a report. 1

Chicago annotated bibliography – In a Nutshell

The following information must be included in a Chicago annotated bibliography

  1. The last and first names of the author. Name of the work. Name of the magazine, book, or website. Publisher, Place of Publication, and Year of Publication URL (if available).
  2. A succinct summary of the work’s subject
  3. An assessment of the contribution of the work to your research.

Here is an illustration of a book annotation in Chicago style:

  • Smith’s book provides a thorough history of the American Revolution, covering both its causes and the actual conflict. The fact that it offers a thorough timeline of the occasions leading up to the conflict makes it valuable for my research

Definition: Chicago annotated bibliography

A Chicago annotated bibliography entails a list of references to publications like books and journal articles. Each citation is followed by an annotation, a brief descriptive and critical text (typically around 150 words). The annotation tries to educate the reader about the quoted sources’ quality, correctness, and relevance.

The Turabian style, which is published by the University of Chicago Press, is a manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations. It provides instructions for writing and structuring these types of documents. A Chicago annotated bibliography example based on Turabian guidelines looks like this:


Arslan, Burcu. “APA Direct Quotes – Format & Examples.” Bachelorprint. November 12, 2022.

An APA direct quote is an exact copy of the text from another author’s work. If the APA direct quote is less than 40 words enclose it in double quotation marks. If it exceeds 40 words, indent the paragraph.

Tips for the final format revision of your thesis

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Chicago annotated bibliography: Writing annotations

Descriptive annotations

An annotation that is descriptive summarizes the key points, discoveries, or conclusions of a source, frequently in a very condensed form.

This annotation provides a quick summary of the source’s objectives, key points, and conclusions while evaluating the source’s usefulness for a research effort on the subject.

Evaluative annotations

An appraisal of the quality or usefulness of the resource is included in evaluative annotations, together with all the components of a descriptive annotation.

The review may also include statements regarding the author’s prejudice or purpose. In addition, your assessment could have a neutral, negative, or favorable tone.

Length of Annotations

The goal of the annotation, the length of the text being commented on, or the preferences of the person writing the annotation may all affect how long they are. Aiming for 50 to 200 words for each source is a decent rule of thumb, although, in rare situations, they may be as little as one phrase or as long as a page.

On average, annotations should be around 4-5 sentences or 150 words long. The Chicago annotated bibliography’s length is determined by its objective and target audience.2

Formatting a Chicago annotated bibliography

Works Cited page’s fundamental structure is used to create the Chicago annotated bibliography for a paper written in Turabian.

The title of your work should be placed after the title of the Chicago annotated bibliography, which is centered and one inch from the top of the page (also centered).3

How to avoid point deductions

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A Chicago annotated bibliography collects resources on a subject while providing a brief description of each one, and strives to make it clear to the reader how each source relates to the subject at hand.

It is a style and use manual for American English that has been published continuously by the University of Chicago Press since 1906.

It is now extensively utilized across various academic fields and is regarded as the benchmark for US publication style.

An annotated bibliography can be formatted in various ways. There are, nevertheless, some broad principles you can abide by.

A succinct summary of the source should follow the citation for each entry in your annotated bibliography.


1 Beatty, Luke, and Cynthia A. Cochran. Writing the Chicago annotated bibliography: A guide for students and researchers. Routledge, 2020.

2 Bara Kratcha, Kae, and Sophia C. Leveque. “Handout: Chicago Annotated Bibliography-Description and Examples.” (2020).

3 Clemen, Robert T. “Combining forecasts: A review and annotated bibliography.” International journal of forecasting 5, no. 4 (1989): 559-583.