Sample Annotations

Annotated Bibliography Unit
This example uses MLA format for an online magazine.  It both summarizes and assesses the article in the annotation. First it provides a brief summary of the article, covering the main points of the work. Then it notes its limitation.

Dickenson, Tim.  “The Spill, the Scandal and the President.”  Rolling Stone, 24 June 2010, www. news/the-spill-the-scandal-and-the-president-1 93093/.

Dickenson’s article gives a history of the oil spill created by the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and efforts to downplay the disaster by BP and the Obama administration. The author concedes the role of the Bush administration in allowing oil companies to control the Mineral Management Service (MMS), but he blames the Obama administration for not correcting this problem and not taking responsibility for the cleanup immediately after the spill. BP drilled the well using cost-cutting methods instead of safer construction plans and without a strategy for sealing a leak. BP has a history of safety violations and should not have been trusted with the cleanup. Officials from NOAA warned of the extent of the spill immediately, but both BP and the President downplayed the damage. Dickenson concludes that the President’s decision not to act immediately after the spill will affect the Gulf region for many years. This article provides readers with details about obvious problems with the Deepwater Horizon well before the explosion and explains how a quicker response by the President could have prevented some of the damage to the fragile Gulf ecosystem. Although the article was written only a month after the disaster, it shows early reactions to the spill and cleanup attempts. 

Dolgin, Elie. “How COVID Unlocked the Power of RNA Vaccines.” Nature, vol. 589, no. 7841, Jan.  2021, pp. 189–191. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00019-w.  

Dolgin begins his essay by describing research into RNA vaccines.  In 2012, researcher Andy Geall used RNA nucleotides to vaccinate rats against a respiratory virus, and in 2013 he developed a vaccination against an avian flu, but his vaccine was not used. The advent of COVID-19 speeded up research into the development of RNA vaccines, and now major pharmaceutical companies are researching using them to prevent diseases like rabies, malaria, and HIV. Once the genome sequence of a virus in known, developing a vaccine is quicker when using RNA technology. One issue with RNA vaccines is that they must be stored at cold temperatures, although two companies claim to have solved this problem. Although RNA vaccines require two injections at this time, researchers are looking for easier ways to deliver them; one example is using patches placed on the skin to deliver the vaccine slowly, which may reduce side effects. Research is continuing in hopes of creating vaccines for diseases like muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis, although many believe that this research will slow when COVID-19 is no longer in the news. Dolgin’s essay is documented with footnotes citing major medical publications like Lancet and Vaccine and published in Nature, a respected journal that includes peer-reviewed research. Dolgin is a science journalist with a PhD in evolutionary genetics who contributes articles to journals like Scientific American and The Scientist. Although this essay does include scientific terms, it is easy to understand because it is written for a general audience. 



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