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Annotated Bibliography

Provides information about the structure and parts of an annotated bibliography and how to evaluate resources for it. Also provides a diagram (example) of an annotation and a list of library books and online links for more information.

Diagram of an Annotation

1. Every entry in your annotated bibliography should begin with the citation for the source.  Specific formatting will depend on which citation style you are using.

2. Make the focus or thesis of the source in question clear immediately.  This will help to keep your annotations brief and to the point.

3. Don't forget to consider the author's qualifications and to mention any biases you may see in the work.  These things will inform your final assessment. 

4. Finish off with your critical evaluation of the work, taking into consideration the factors mentioned above. 

Annotation taken from "Annotated Bibliography Samples." The Owl at Purdue. Purdue U. Web. 9 November 2012.

Image of text with arrows and highlighting. Transcription of the text is located below the image. 

The diagram above has  arrows with explanatory text pointing to the various parts of a sample annotation. Here is the text of the sample with the explanations rendered in bold italics and the section to which it refers underlined.

MLA Citation:  Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 2001. Print.

The main focus of the work is identified, followed by a few brief details to summarize:  In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist’s experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Wal-Mart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.

Qualifications are presented, and the source's chief weakness is addresses:  An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. 

Final assessment:  Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.