How to's: University: Write an Annotation

How to Write an Annotation

Writing an Annotation

An annotation is a brief, critical summary of a publication that is commonly used when collecting research or creating a report. More than just a description of an article, an annotation allows writers to effectively understand the contents of a publication and make informed decisions on whether it’s useful for their research. Annotations are generally 150-200 words long.


To write an annotation:

  • Before writing the annotation paragraph:
    • First decide what the source of the publication is (government, book, Web site, etc.) Write this at the top of the annotation bibliography page.
    • Next, add the bibliographic citation of the publication.
      • The Modern Language Association (MLA) handbook is a commonly used reference.
  • The annotation:
    • First, look into who the author is and what his or her credentials are. Include some of the author’s background and how he or she is qualified to write on this specific subject.
    • Then, state the main assertions of the article and summarize the thesis.
    • Distinguish who the target audience of the publication and article is.
    • Analyze whether the author is objective or presents biases. Include how this impacts the article and if opposing views are provided.
    • State the main conclusions the author presents. How do these conclusions relate to your research topic?
    • Compare the information in the article to similar or related publications.


To write an annotation in WebspirationPRO™:

  • Open a new WebspiratonPRO outline or click the Templates/Examples button on the Starter screen to open the Writing an Annotation template.
  • If using the template, the predefined topics will guide you, or you can begin from scratch by creating topics as you follow the steps outlined above.
  • Use the Notes area of each topic to expand on your ideas and arguments.
  • When finished, transfer your document to your favorite word processing application to complete your paper.