Download the Annotated Bibliography assignment in PDF.

In this assignment, you will provide a bibliography of sources relevant to your research project. At least three of those sources must be annotated with a brief entry of 250-300 words in which you summarize, synthesize, and contextualize the source, explaining how it relates to your topic and argument. The other sources can just be listed in proper MLA format. Put the three annotated sources first, and then include the other sources at the end of your annotations.

In choosing which sources to annotate, choose the articles or sources that are most critical your argument. In other words, try to make the work of the annotated bibliography serve your purposes. Since each annotation should include a critical and evaluative commentary on the source, significant portions of your synthesis and contextualization can be used in your research paper.

Each annotation should be constructed following these guidelines:

  1. A full and accurate bibliographic citation of the source in MLA format
  2. A short paragraph briefly summarizing the source and its position/argument
  3. A few sentences contextualizing the sources in terms of your research topic
  4. A paragraph explaining how and why the source is relevant for your argument (Does is it offer facts about your issue? A position you agree with? An opinion you want to challenge? State specifically how and why you plan to use the source in your argument.)

Other things to consider

In analyzing the source, here are some other things to consider:

  • Primary Arguments and Supporting DataWhat are the main lines of reasoning that the authors of the article use? What information do they use to support their claims?
  • Types of Appeals – What rhetorical appeals does the author use to state their case? Do they appeal to logic, emotions, credibility – or is it a combination of two or more of those appeals?
  • Underlying Values – What do those who hold this position value? What is the underlying key issue for each position?
  • Strategies – What is each position’s way of arguing? Do they tend to blame their opponents, focus on solutions, stick to facts, generate fear, etc.?


  • Your three annotated sources should amount to at least 800 words of writing.
  • The annotations should be a combination of summary, synthesis, contextualization, and explaining how and why you plan to use the source.
  • Combined with your other sources, you should have a total of at least seven different sources.


  • The Annotated Bibliography is due on November 11. Please turn in a paper copy by this date.