Annotated Bibliography Assignment

What is an “annotated bibliography”?

A bibliography is a list of sources (journals, magazine articles, websites, books) on a particular topic you have researched. An annotation is a summary and evaluation of each of these sources.

What is the purpose of an annotated bibliography?

Annotated bibliographies are often created for other researchers as starting points, but the main purposes for this assignment are:

  • To foster in you closer, more critical, more rhetorical reading strategies

     To help you establish more complex relationships with your sources

     To help you begin to formulate ideas of your own

How should I go about compiling my annotated bibliography?

First, locate and record sources relevant to your topic. Choose works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic. Next, read them critically, thinking about the audience, purpose and usefulness of the source.   And write the following:

     A concise summary of the source—what is its main argument? What topics are covered? If some one asked you what the source was about, what would you say?

     An assessment of the source. Is the information reliable? How do you know?   How does it compare with other sources? What are the goals of the source?

     A reflection about how it fits into your research. Was it helpful? How? Did it change your thinking about the topic in any way? Will it help shape your argument? Can it be used in your project? How?

Each annotation should be a minimum of one full page. Your responses to the questions above do not need to be in three separate paragraphs, however.

The assignment

Create an annotated bibliography for three scholarly sources. Each entry should include MLA style citation and a 300 wd annotation of the source. The annotation should summarize the source, evaluate its purpose, usefulness and reliability and reflect on the ways this source fits into your research project. All annotations are due on the day the argument essay is due.

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