Annotated Bibliographies


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Annotated Bibliography Samples


Annotated Bibliography Breakdown




Document your research efforts for the Research Essay in an MLA-formatted annotated bibliography. While the works cited page included at the end of the polished essay will include only sources that are cited within the argument, your annotated bibliography will also record the sources consulted during the research process.


List each source alphabetically in proper MLA Format (as you would on a Works Cited page).

Following each listing will be two paragraphs:

  • The first paragraph will do the following:
    • Summarize the source’s main argument and important points.
    • Highlight ideas that might be particularly useful in the context of your argument.
    • Describe how this source may be used in your essay – how might it be used to forward your thesis? Will these ideas be used as supporting evidence (and if so, which point/s do they support), or as part of a counterargument?
    • If this source was consulted only, explain what was gained from this consultation. (You might also explain why it was excluded/not used.)
  • The second paragraph:
    • Provide an analytical response to the source content.
    • Evaluate the readability: was this source easy to understand, or did it require advanced knowledge of the subject?   Would you recommend it to others?
    • If it is provided, note relevant background information on the source’s author and/or publisher/sponsor (what type of credentials the source has, etc.)

The length of each of these paragraphs will vary, as they depend upon the length and complexity of the source.

Specific instructions for creating an annotated bibliography can be found in the sections of the OWL Purdue website assigned in week 6.  



The Research Essay assignment requires that the following sources be cited within the essay:

  • Julie Beck’s “This Article Won’t Change Your Mind.”
  • (Unless you are using first-hand experience) the source/s of the “real-world” charged situation that is analyzed.
  • Additional scholarly source to “fact-check” the debate/topic under analysis.

In all, there must be four sources cited in addition to Beck’s article. These can be multi-modal (TED Talks, websites, etc.), but at least one must be a scholarly, academic-length article from a peer-reviewed journal.

While I do not have a required minimum number of sources for the bibliography, I expect that several more sources will be consulted than used in the Essay.


The weight of the Annotated Bibliography is 20% of the course grade.