Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Note to instructors: This annotated bibliography assignment may be used as a stand-alone project, or it may be used as part of an ongoing research project. You are encouraged to adopt, adapt, or remix these guidelines to suit your goals for your class. 

Due dates 

Rough Draft: 
Peer Review: 
Final Draft:  


 This assignment will help you become aware of how writers and researchers review and become familiar with previous work on a topic before they begin additional research.  

  • Skills: This assignment will help you practice skills essential to success in and beyond this course: 
    Locate a variety of scholarly print and digital sources that represent multiple perspectives on a topic.  
    Analyze sources by critically reading, annotating, engaging, comparing, and drawing implications.
  • Knowledge: This assignment will help you become familiar with the following important knowledge:
    • Methods for conducting research
    • Analytical reading and writing strategies   


An annotated bibliography is an alphabetized list of source citations that includes an annotation underneath each entry. In your annotated bibliography, each of your source citations will include an annotation summarizing the source and describing the aim, purpose, and relevance to your research project.  

You will develop an annotated bibliography containing five academic sources as well as a discussion of what you learned from your research. Your annotated bibliography should have three parts: an introduction, a discussion of sources, and a conclusion. 

  Introduction, 150-200 words 

In the introduction, present your research topic. Consider the following: Why does this topic interest you personally? (Finding a topic that interests you leads to a better paper.) Why should others care about this topic? Why is your topic worth researching? What were your research questions? 

 Discussion of Sources, 150-200 words per source 

Gather at least five sources on your topic. Two of these sources must come from academic journals (peer-reviewed, scholarly, found using GALILEO), but the others may come from credible newspapers and magazines. One of the sources may be chosen from a website, but this site should be from a reliable organization like The Associated Press or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Articles from GALILEO databases are not considered internet sources. Read and reread each source carefully. 
Once you have selected your sources and read them carefully, write annotations for each. Each annotation should . . . 

    • Include a brief summary of the source.
    • Evaluate the source and its use in your research.
    • Discuss relation of the source to your other sources. Consider whether sources agree or disagree with/contradict each other.
    • Comment on the source’s reliability. 

Write citations in MLA, 9th edition, format. Summarize the articles using your own words. List your entries alphabetically and check them carefully for mistakes in MLA documentation. 
Here are two sample annotations: link.  

 Conclusion, 150-200 words 

In the conclusion, detail the most important contributions your sources make to your research topic; you may also point out commonalities, conflicts, or problems. Include a discussion of what your review of your sources has demonstrated about the topic. Consider the following: What is your preliminary thesis? Did your research create new questions for you? What sources (in addition to those listed in your discussion) do you need to find? What possible conclusions to your questions do you foresee? 

  Final Directions 

Remember to properly cite any information from your sources that you use in your introduction and conclusion. Be sure that your summaries are very different from the abstracts of the articles you have read.  

 Formatting requirements 

Follow MLA format. Use black Calibri or Times New Roman font in size 12. Double-space the entire document. Use 1-inch margins on all sides.  

Criteria for Success

 General criteria: 

  • The writing is clear and coherent/makes sense.
  • The tone and language are appropriate for the audience.
  • The writer has gone through the entire writing process, revising substantially and thoughtfully.
  • The writing adheres to grammar and punctuation rules. 

 In the introduction, you should . . . 

  • Present your research topic.
  • Clarify why this topic matters and is worth researching.
  • Ensure your introduction is 150-200 words. 

In the source discussion section, you should . . . 

  • Include at least five scholarly sources from reliable sources.  
  • Alphabetize your entries.  
  • Ensure each annotation includes complete and accurate works cited information following MLA format.
  • Briefly summarize each source.
  • Ensure each annotation contains an explanation of how the source will be used in your research project.
  • Note difference of opinions among sources.
  • Comment on the reliability of each source.
  • Ensure annotations are in your own words, not copied from abstracts or the source itself.
  • Ensure each annotation is 150-200 words. 

In the conclusion, you should . . . 

  • Detail the most important contributions your sources make to your research topic.
  • Include a discussion of what your review of your sources has demonstrated about your research topic.
  • Identify your preliminary thesis.
  • Identify new questions that have arisen as a result of your research.
  • Discuss sources (in addition to those listed in your discussion) you still need to find.
  • Identify any possible conclusions to your questions that you foresee. 

 The annotated bibliography should adhere to all formatting criteria: 

  • Follow MLA format for all citations.
  • The entire document should be double-spaced.  
  • The font should be Calibri or Times New Roman in size 12.
  • The margins should be one inch on all sides.


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