Assessment: Annotated Bibliography


The Annotated Bibliography        100 points

“An annotated bibliography provides specific information about each source you have used. As a researcher, you have become an expert on your topic and have the ability both to explain the content and to assess the usefulness of your sources for those not in the know. Think of your paper as part of a conversation with others interested in the same things you are; the annotated bibliography allows you to tell readers what to check out, what might be worth checking out in some situations, and what might not be worth spending the time on. It’s kind of like providing a list of good movies for your classmates to watch and then going over the list with them, telling them why this movie is better than that one or why one student in your class might like a particular movie better than another student would. You want to give your audience enough information to understand basically what the movies are about and to make an informed decision about where to spend their money based on their interests” (“Annotated Bibliography”).

Essentially, this assignment consists of two elements that will be blended together:

  • A Works Cited page in MLA format that lists all of the research sources you have found and evaluated thus far for your final paper
  • A 3-4 sentence-long mini-evaluation immediately following each of these source’s citation that shows how and why this source will be useful to your final project (or not).  This evaluation should include your interpretation of the source’s thesis or overall focus.

An MLA example, using the source for the above quote:

"Annotated Bibliography." Handouts and Links. The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007. Web. 12 Feb. 2010. This source is a handout made available by a reputable university's writing center, and describes with great detail and examples what an annotated bibliography is and what purpose it serves. It contains an extensive list of works consulted that could lead me towards additional sources as needed.

The Nuts and Bolts
Your final Annotated Bibliography will have 12 sources listed.  Of those,

  • at least 5 will be academic journal article sources, retrieved from the school or a public library
  • at least 2 will be book-length, either physical books or ebooks from the Library or online 
  • at least 1 will be an online media source, such as a YouTube video, podcast, or interactive presentation
  • The remaining 4 sources will be “wild card” slots–anything you want to include.


  • at least 2 sources (of any of the above formats) must contain elements that DISAGREE with your own position on the matter

The remaining sources may fall into whichever category you choose.  You may single-space both the citations and evaluations to make it more reader-friendly.  Entries should be organized in alphabetical order.  We are using MLA formatting, for the Bibliography as well as the final Research Essay.    

Remember, this is just an assignment to demonstrate the range of research you’ll be doing for your final essay.  You won’t be expected to use all of these sources in your final paper, and if you find more after you’ve turned this in, you can use those instead.  The Annotated Bibliography is a snapshot of where you are in the research process at this particular point in time. 

You’re also more than welcome to recycle sources you’ve used in earlier assignments.