The Annotated Bibliography

an annotated bibliography is a list of sources (books, Web sites, journal articles, etc.) that have been analyzed and evaluated for use in a research project. Each “annotation” includes a properly formatted MLA citation of the source, followed by a 100-200 word descriptive and evaluative summary about the source. The steps for compiling and completing a comprehensive annotated bibliography are provided in the Annotated Bibliography reading. You can also read information about preparing an annotated bibliography.

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Please note that for ENG102, your annotation should also contain a description of your search strategy.
After researching, narrow your list of sources to seven and proceed with writing the annotated bibliography. Include a properly formatted citation. Please refer to the MLA Formatting and Style Guide for various “works cited” formatting examples. Your annotation should include the following elements:

The source’s authority of the topic.
A brief description/summary of the source.
A short analysis of the source which may include:
The possible relationship to other sources (if applicable)
Any biases noted
Any significant features of the source
The intended audience.
Your brief opinion of the source.
Your search strategy

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.

Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.

Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
For more help, see our handouts on evaluating resources.

Reflect: Once you’ve summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

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