When you write a research paper or other essay that requires you to use one or more source, you will need to include a bibliography. Some instructors may require an annotated bibliography, a list of sources with a summary of the work. A source you referenced may include a book, journal or website, but some research may include a personal interview. Knowing how to properly annotate an interview will help you create this type of bibliography.


An annotated bibliography lists each work you referenced in your research and allows you and your reader to see, at a glance, how that source impacted your paper. You will list your references using style guidelines such as MLA, APA, Chicago or AP. This requires titles, authors, publishers, cities of publication and year of publications. You will also state the format of the source, whether it was print or online. For interviews, you will need the name of the person you interviewed and the date, and you will state it was a personal interview.

Main Ideas

Interviews may stray from the main topic of discussion. Go through your notes or listen to the recorded interview to make a list of the main ideas discussed. You may want to make two columns, one where you will place the ideas relevant to the topic and another column where you can list ideas that stray off course. Highlight or circle the main ideas that connect directly with your topic.


Once you have the main ideas of your interview, analyze these points, the interview as a whole and the person interviewed. Is the information contained in the interview reliable? If he stated facts, did you confirm the information? Is he biased toward one viewpoint? Asking these questions will help you critically consider the interview as a whole, and you can make a list of words or phrases that describe your analysis. For example, you may state the interview was reliable, informative and objective. These words will help when you put the annotation together.


Consider the ways the interview affected your research or how you view the topic. Begin by asking yourself questions to determine the effect of the interview. Did your perspective change? Did the interview give you an insight you had not considered before? In what ways did the interview affect your continued research or the direction of your paper?

Complete Annotation

Once you have carefully gathered information on the interview, you can begin creating the annotation. The annotation may range from a single paragraph to multiple paragraphs, and this will vary depending on the extent of the interview and how much impact this made on your research. Begin by stating the relevant main ideas you discussed in the interview. Leave out ideas that do not relate specifically to your paper. Next, give your analysis of the interview. You can refer to your list of words and phrases to help you. Finally, you can close your annotation with a reflection on the ways the interview affected your paper and the course of your research.


If you interview a professor on the use of annotated bibliographies, you may have an annotation similar to this example:

Phillip Smith, Ph.D., earned his degree in English literature from Duke University, and he shared his personal experiences with annotated bibliographies. He believes, in tracking sources with annotations, he reduces the amount of time he spends searching for information. As a professor, Dr. Smith states an annotated bibliography gives him an insight into a student’s research process, allowing him to assist when necessary.