An annotation is a brief description (not a summary) of a book, article, web site or other publication, including audio-visual materials. Its purposes are to describe an item in such a way that the reader can decide whether or not to read/view the entire work and to explain the item's usefulness and content. After reading the annotation the reader should have a clear picture of the item's purpose, contents, and special features.
Annotations are one of two kinds: descriptive or critical.
• Descriptive annotations describe the content of an item and point out its unique features.
• Critical annotations evaluate the usefulness of an item, as well as, describing its contents.
• mention the goals of the work
• identify the intended audience
• provide a comment on the item's importance and usefulness to its subject area
• state the author's qualifications (unless the author is extremely well known)
• point out any bias on the part of the author
• indicate the level of reading difficulty
• explain how data was gathered or research was conducted
• compare this item to other works on the same subject
• provide the author's conclusions; include all additional materials contained in the item, such as maps, photos, illustrations, charts, etc.