An annotated bibliography is a list of sources, references or citations for books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The format of an annotated bibliography is similar to a Works Cited page, but it also includes an annotation, or short summary after each source. An annotation is a short summary or critical evaluation of a source. Each source listed in an annotated bibliography has a citation in MLA format. Annotated bibliographies are often part of a larger research project, or form the beginnings of an assignment.
Annotations are typically 4 to 6 sentences long (roughly 150 word paragraph), and often focus on:
Types of Annotations
Summary annotations describe sources by answering questions about the source. Such as who wrote the information, what does the information source discuss, when and where was the information produced, why was the information created, and how was it shared with the public. The focus is on description.
Evaluative annotations include summaries the same as summary annotations, but they also include critical analysis of the work. Specifically looking for accuracy, relevance, and quality. Evaluative annotations allow you to learn deeper about a topic, consider a thesis statement, allow you to decide whether a source is suitable, and allows you to assess whether you have enough information and arguments to complete your assignment. The focus is on description and evaluation.
Formatting Annotated Bibliographies
Ontiveros, Randy J. In the Spirit of a New People: The Cultural Politics of the Chicano Movement. New York UP, 2014.
This book analyzes the journalism, visual arts, theater, and novels of the Chicano movement from 1960 to the present as articulations of personal and collective values. Chapter 3 grounds the theater of El Teatro Campesino in the labor and immigrant organizing of the period, while Chapter 4 situates Sandra Cisneros’s novel Caramelo in the struggles of Chicana feminists to be heard in the traditional and nationalist elements of the Chicano movement. Ontiveros provides a powerful and illuminating historical context for the literary and political texts of the movement.
Alvarez, Nadia, and Jack Mearns. “The Benefits of Writing and Performing in the Spoken Word Poetry Community.” The Arts in Psychotherapy, vol. 41, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 263-8. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2014.03.004.
Spoken word poetry is distinctive because it is written to be performed out loud, in person, by the poet. The ten poets interviewed by these authors describe “a reciprocal relationship between the audience and the poet” created by that practice of performance. To build community, spoken word poets keep metaphor and diction relatively simple and accessible. Richness is instead built through fragmented stories that coalesce into emotional narratives about personal and community concerns. This understanding of poets’ intentions illuminates their recorded performances.
Adapted from "MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Annotated Bibliography." Morehead State University Library, research.moreheadstate.edu/mla8/ann-bib/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2019.
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