An annotated bibliography is the same as a “regular” bibliography (also known as a Works Cited or References list), with the addition of annotations (short paragraphs about each source). Two types of annotated bibliographies are the most common:
A short paragraph (50-200 words) that describes and/or evaluates each citation (source of information listed in your bibliography). An evaluative annotation judges, in your opinion, the relevance, quality, and accuracy of each citation, in addition to describing the work.
Annotations usually consist of the answers to the following questions:
|Questions to Answer:||Examples:|
|What is the material?||Book, chapter, scholarly article, web page|
|What is the work about?||Topics and subjects covered|
|What is the purpose of the work?||Introduction, update, research report|
|Who is the intended audience?||Scholars, general public|
|Who is/are the author(s)? What are their qualifications?||Academic qualifications, research background|
|Authority of the source?||Peer-reviewed journal, reputable publisher|
|Are there any clear biases?||Personal/corporate agenda, unbalanced discussion|
|What are the deficiencies or limitations of the work?||Dubious research methods; information that is clearly missing|
|What are the strengths of the work?||Thorough discussion, extensive research, major work in field|
Not necessarily! Look for information in:
Numbers in parentheses refer to specific sections in the MLA Handbook (9th ed.)
The specific requirements for annotated bibliographies are usually set by your instructor. However, the MLA Handbook (9th ed.) has some suggested guidelines for formatting:
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