This guide provides an overview with explanations and examples of how to prepare an annotated bibliography. Also included are resources to support writing in MLA writing style. If you are unable to find what you need for your assignment, please don't hesitate to contact me to schedule an appointment.
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An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that gives the publication information and a short description — or annotation — for each source.
Purpose: An annotated bibliography shows that the author has understood the sources used during research on a topic and gives researchers sufficient information in order to decide whether to use the specific work.
Different Types of Annotations
Informative annotations often summarize relevant information about the author or the author's work.
Indicative annotation is a type of summary annotation that provides general information about the work. It does not aim to include the actual information from the argument. Instead, it highlights the kinds of questions or issues that are addressed by the work. This may also involve the use of chapter titles.
Evaluative annotations look at the following:
An annotated bibliography could include summarizing, describing, and evaluating sources.
"Annotated Bibliographies." The Writing Center University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/annotated-bibliographies/. Accessed 4 Sept. 2023.
"Annotated Bibliography Samples." Purdue Online Writing Lab, owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/annotated_bibliography_samples.html. Accessed 4 Sept. 2023.
There are three steps to creating an annotated bibliography:
1) Select resources
Find books, articles, and other documents that contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Examine and review the items, selecting those that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
2) Cite materials
Cite the book, article, or document using the citation style required by your instructor - APA, MLA or Chicago.
3) Write the annotation
Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the resource. Verify the type of annotation you are required to write with your instructor. The two basic types are descriptive and evaluative annotations. Annotations for each resource are typically between 50 and 150 words.
Descriptive annotations (also known as "informative" annotations) provide only a summary of the author's main ideas. Descriptive annotations are typically two to three sentences long, and describe the content but include no critical remarks evaluating the source’s quality.
Descriptive annotations may include the following types of information:
Evaluative annotations (also known as "critical" annotations) summarize the essential ideas in a document and provide judgments—negative, positive, or both—about their quality. Evaluative annotations are typically three to four sentences long. Evaluative annotations usually begin with broad comments about the focus of the source, then move to an evaluation of the source.
Evaluative annotations may contain the following type of information: