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ENGL 150 Poetry and Drama


Annotated Bibliography

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 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:

  • Purpose or focus of the source.
  • Relevance to your research topic or thesis.
  • Helpful insights or contributions of the source.
  • Background information on the credibility of the author and their level of expertise.
  • Conclusions or new knowledge conveyed by the source.
  • Conclusions, new ideas, or observations made by yourself.

Types of Annotations

Summary annotations describe sources by answering questions about the information they include. A summary annotation may provide insight about who wrote the source, discussion points covered by a source, when and where the information was produced, why the information was created, and how was it shared with the public. The focus is on description.

Evaluative annotations describe a source in a way similar to a summary annotation, but also includes critical analysis of the work. Evaluative annotations look specifically for accuracy, relevance, and quality of a source. Evaluating a source critically through your annotation allows you to engage your topic at a deeper level, consider a thesis statement or argument, decide whether a source is suitable, and may help you determine whether you have enough information to complete your assignment. The focus is on description and evaluation.

Formatting Annotated Bibliographies

  • Begin annotations directly after the citation. 
  • Format citations according to MLA style. 
  • Format the annotated bibliography as you would a typical MLA works cited list. 
  • All lines should be double-spaced. Do not add an extra line between the citations.



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.

Journal article

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,

     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, Accessed 26 Sept. 2019.

Writing Annotated Bibliographies

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