annotated bib

Your annotated bibliography will list a minimum of six itemsFour of them must be from credible, academic, peer-reviewed sources that you find as you do research for the final essay.  The remaining two sources must be credible, but they can come from sources other than academic journals if you wish. When you write, use standard MLA typographic and citation format, and then extend each Works Cited entry with a summary of the major arguments in the essay you have read. Each summary must contain a minimum of 100 words. If desired, append a list of “Works Consulted” for sources used that arenot peer-reviewed.


Basic MLA Style Format for an Annotated Bibliography


Format your page and list of citations in the same way you would a normal Works Cited page, then add your annotation at the end of it.

  1. Title your bibliography “Works Cited” at the top of the page. Center it, but do not put it in bold face type.
  2. Put entries in alphabetical order, not the order in which they have been assigned.
  3. Use hanging indents, as shown below. That is, the first line of the citation starts at the left margin. Subsequent lines are indented 5 spaces.
  4. As with every other part of an MLA formatted essay, the bibliography is double spaced throughout.
  5. The annotation is a continuation of the citation. Do not drop down to the next line to start the annotation.
  6. The right margin is the normal right margin of your document.


There is a right way and a wrong way to write up these entries. Don’t “report” the arguments the author makes or tell readers the order in which those arguments are presented and count all of that reporting and listing as “summary” or annotation. Instead, restate in your own words the claims made by the writer in his/her essay.


Wrong way to do it: “Marotti introduces his argument in the first section of the essay; then he moves on to talk about Petrarchan conventions. He ends the essay by talking about the political ramifications of Shakespeare’s sonnets.” 


Right way to do it: “Marotti’s argument here is that the sonnet genre must be understood in three ways: by examining the text itself, by examining the text in relation to others of its kind, and by exploring the social/historical environment in which it was published and circulated . . .”


Sample Annotations 

NOTE: These entries provide models of both format and content. They summarize—rather than “report”—the essay described.

Marotti, Arthur F. “”Love is Not Love”: Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences and the Social Order.” ELH 2(1982): 396-428. Marotti’s argument here is that the sonnet genre must be understood in three ways: by examining the text itself, by examining the text in relation to others of its kind, and by exploring the social/historical environment in which it was published and circulated. Using those criteria, he argues that we should understand sonnet sequences as more than just a collected string of Petrarchan love poems. The 16th century sequences suddenly fell out of favor with the death of Elizabeth, and Marotti asserts that explanations for this extinction are inadequate or wrong. Early modern sonnets used Petrarchan love conceits to express a different sort of passion: ambition and envy. The ‘lovers’ addressing ladies in these sonnets are not speaking only/simply/ever to real or imagined women they personally love but rather are expressing their discontent about failed successes at court. The premiere woman whom they address is Queen Elizabeth, who had the power to make or break courtiers’ careers. The idea of  so-called courtly love, then, (echoing Petrarch) is used here as a mechanism for voicing other concerns; these poets use an accepted convention to articulate complaints in code, as it were, that they otherwise could not speak about. The premiere progenitor of the sonnet sequence as political commentary is Phillip Sidney’Astrophil and Stella; others followed, notably Shakespeare, who in his sequence bitterly objects to the failure of his patron W.S. to support his work (financially and/or socially) by rejecting Will for another poet AND because his patron has apparently had an affair with a woman Shakespeare has also had a relationship with. This helps us better understand Shakespeare’s sonnets as they would have been read in his own time, and it flies in the face of the benign reification they have received in modern times.  Moreover, if the sonnets can be read politically—and Marotti’s argument is persuasive—then we should apply that same lens to explore the possibility of such readings in the plays themselves.

Miller, James S.  â€œIntroduction: How We Work.”  Acting Out Culture: Reading and Writing.  Ed. James S. Miller.  Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 272-277. Print.  The “Introduction” to the section: How We Work explains how there are written and unwritten rules in terms of employment.  We follow these rules so that we don’t lose our job or get punished for doing something wrong.  We follow the rules in hopes for a promotion or another reward that we may receive.  The introduction also explores how some jobs are more popular than others because of their earning potential.  We learn that we want these jobs more because they make us more legitimate in the employment ring.  But the author questions, what is determined to be worthy or unworthy work?  The answer is stereotypes.  Stereotypes perpetuated about what jobs are the “best” to have, and that our work defines who we are, and it places us in a category for the rest of our lives.  The author describes how the essays in the section exemplify the connection between work and culture by going through each essay and explicitly showing each author’s point of view and what they believe in terms of their subject.  The author also explores how jobs get “hyped” when they are advertised to make them appear more interesting than they actually are.  How else would you get someone to work for you?  He uses the example of Wal-Mart, and how they portray themselves as one, big happy family, when it couldn’t be further from the truth.  He suggests that we rethink what we think we know about work and the promises compared to the reality.


Evaluation Criteria:

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Bibliography is typographically correct [A8]:

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>It uses hanging indents with subsequent lines indented 5 spaces.

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>The annotation is a continuation of the citation.

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>The right margin is the normal right margin of your document.

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Bibliography follows MLA style guide for Works Cited entries. [A8]

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Entries are arranged in alphabetical order

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Titles are either underlined/italicized or put inside quotation marks according to the type of text identified.

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Each entry summarizes the major arguments of the text listed. The annotation does not “report” the arguments; instead, it restates in the author’s own words the claims made by the writer in his/her essay. [A2, A3, A4, A5]

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>The bibliography includes a minimum of four sources from academic, peer-reviewed sources and two credible sources. [A, B1, B2, B3]

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Each entry contains a summary comprising a minimum of 100 words.

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>Surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling do not impede the reader’s use of the bibliography. [A4]

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>The writer has adopted an appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality. [A5]


Course Goals Met: This assignment most closely meets these course objectives:


A) Rhetorical Knowledge By the end of ENG 101, students should have:

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>A4)  Demonstrated an ability to control surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling;

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>A5)  Demonstrated an ability to adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality appropriate to different rhetorical situations and genres;

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>A8)  Demonstrated an ability to document another writer’s written work and ideas, in a manner appropriate to relevant academic or professional disciplines.


B) Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing By the end of ENG 101, students should have


<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>B1)  Demonstrated an ability to use reading and writing for the purposes of inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating;

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>B2)  Demonstrated their practice of writing as a series of process-oriented steps, including locating, evaluating, analyzing, integrating, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources;

<![if !supportLists]>·       <![endif]>B4)  Demonstrated an ability to use instructional technology in support of critical thinking, reading, research, and writing.

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