What’s the purpose of an annotated bibliography?

  • To gather and summarize information about a topic you are researching into one document
  • To create a quick reference sheet which will remind you of what your various sources argued and how they are useful to your paper
  • To preserve a record of research about your topic which may be shared with others in your field

Who is the audience?

  • Yourself, in that the document will help you in your own writing and research
  • Others (including your instructor) who might be interested in reading an overview of the topic you researched. For this reason, clarity, professionalism and neatness are important in an annotated bibliography.

How to do it:

  • Make an MLA works cited list of 8 or more relevant sources you’ve found on your topic.
  • Then, beneath each citation, write an annotation  paragraph:

1) A summary of the theme/purpose of the source,

2) an evaluation of the author’s background or authority,

3)  an explanation of how the source helps define, complicate, or clarify the topic, and

4) either a direct quote or a paraphrase of information which you would include within your paper (cited).

  • Use the MLA Annotated Bibliography Example Handout as a guide for the format.
  • Your annotated bibliography can also be done in APA format.
  • This annotated bibliography is worth 150 points.

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