Annotated Bibliography



Helpful Hints

Assignment Requirements

Maximum Score and Due Date







In successfully completing this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Determine the purpose of a work and the essential elements that accomplish that purpose
  • Succintly communicate these elements in manner that captures the original purpose without simply listing the facts or copying the source word for word
  • Have at least 8 viable sources for your research paper
  • Determine and communicate the uses of those sources towards proving the argument of your research paper


  • Find a research topic and make sure I have cleared it.
  • Use the means we have discussed in class to find ACADEMIC sources that pertain to your topic. These articles or books should be no more than 10 years old.
  • Determine whether or not each source will be useful towards proving your argument. This is VERY important because you must explain how you are going to use it in your annotation.
  • Choose 8 essays/articles/books that you plan to use in your research paper. (This can be subject to change)
  • Summarize the main points in the article. The summary should be in your own words, not lifted from the page of your article or essay. Be sure to keep copies of ALL the articles you use for this, so that you do not have to find them again for your paper. However, you do not have to turn in photocopies THIS ONE TIME.
  • Explain how and why the article will help your argument. Sources that are irrelevant to your argument will NOT be counted.
  • Give the MLA information on the correct format.


Helpful Hints:

  • Read over every essay at least once before choosing. Then settle on one to summarize. Always make clear in the summary the author and title of the essay you are summarizing right off the bat
  • Identify the OVERALL purpose of the essay first. Is it telling a story? Making an argument? Expressing facts? Or something else entirely? What conclusions does the author draw, if any?
  • Identify the main ideas and points that the author uses to accomplish that purpose. For instance, how did he/she draw his conclusions if he/she made any? Note how the essay is organized. Often the author's use of paragraphing will help you to determine the emphasis he/she places on certain aspects. You need to emphasize those same points in your summary.
  • Do NOT simply put the author's words or "paraphrase" sentence by sentence. You are trying to convey his/her OVERALL meaning and express the gist of his/her argument IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Check your summary against the original and make sure you have not copied the author's wording in any way. If you feel that it is important that you use the author's wording for a phrase or two, you MUST indicate these exact words by putting them in quotation marks. You may not directly quote more than a couple short phrases, and only when absolutely necessary.
  • Do not just list the author's points.
  • Don't get bogged down in specific details. We want the big picture. That's why the word limit is so small.
  • Determine how you're going to use it BEFORE you start making a formal annotation for it. Do NOT just grab the first eight you come across.
  • The explanation of how you use it does not have to be elaborate, but it has to be specific enough so that the relevance of your source is clear.


Assignment Requirements
How well you meet these requirements determines your grade. The annotated bibliography must:

  • Have 8 separate academic sources and bibliography entries
  • Have each entry be 300-600 words in length
  • Have all the MLA information, in the correct format for Annotated Bibliographies
  • Make clear the overall purpose for the work
  • Make clear the main ideas and points the author uses to accomplish and convey the purpose of that work
  • Use your own words, and not the author's
  • Weed out extra details and concentrate on what is necessary to convey the overall idea
  • Explain relevance of source to topic SPECIFICALLY and how it helps prove your point.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. and avoid careless errors


Maximum Score: 160 pts.

Due Date: Monday, April 7



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