Online Writing Lab

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a common assignment that often accompanies a comprehensive research paper.  The goal of an annotated bibliography is for the writer to perform comprehensive research on a topic and to force the writer to evaluate each source carefully.   An annotated bibliography can also help a writer to understand what kind of research is available and help a writer in exploring a particular issue and crafting a specific thesis. 

The word annotation means to summarize or explain a particular document.  A bibliography is a list of sources that are used in a research paper, and sometimes even includes sources that are evaluated during research but not actually used in the essay (this is often called the “works consulted”).  As such, an annotated bibliography is list of each source cited properly in a particular format (MLA, APA, Chicago Style), followed by a summary and/or an evaluation of each of the sources. 

The following is an example of one source in an annotated bibliography (MLA format): 

Merk, Jared, ed. “MLA Example.” Aims Community College Online Writing Lab, 2010. Web. 3 Aug. 2010.

This site provides a plethora of information on the writing process.  The site offers examples, templates, and exercises to help a writer improve his/her mechanics.  Information on citing sources in different formats is also included.  The examples that are provided are particularly helpful and will be useful when crafting essays.  I plan to use the resources on this site to help me with this assignment and other assignments during my college career.  In particular, I will use the MLA examples to make sure that my essay is following proper MLA format.

Follow this structure for each source in the annotated bibliography.