Annotated Bibliographies

The next phase of your research projects will be to compile an annotated bibliography–a list of sources you plan to cite, with a short explanation of what roles they’ll play in your essay.

Cornell University’s library offers a good overview of the genre of the annotated bibliography–including samples of effective ones. It’s worth checking out.

For your annotated bibliographies, you should do the following:

1. Create a full list of works you will cite, in alphabetical order, following MLA Guidelines.

2. Write a few, concise sentences that explain how and why these sources will help you make your argument. For example, a source might help you establish motive or illustrate a point; it might provide background information or a counter-argument you want to address. Describe the source’s content as well as its functions in your essay. It may or may not be relevant to offer some details about the author (field of study, previous works, status, etc.).

3. Identify the discipline or genre the source represents and offer a brief description of its methodology–and, if possible, name this methodology.

4. Conclude each entry by listing which of Mark Gaipa’s “8 Ways to Engage Sources” seem relevant for the source at hand. Feel free also to devise your own categories if none of Gaipa’s seems to apply.

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