For each of your five sources, you must write an annotated bibliography. Each annotated bibliography should be no longer than 300 words.

What is an annotated bibliography? (from OWL at Purdue)

Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:
  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?For more help, see our handouts on evaluating resources.
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic? Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others.

What goes into an annotated bibliography?

1) Works Cited entry/citation
2) Summary of source
3) Evaluation of source
4) Reflection on relevance (how it will be used in your paper)

How do I write each section?

1) Works Cited entry/citation
Basic citations, web source citation, periodical citation
Citation Machine > click "Web Document" for websites

2) Summary of source (1 paragraph - 100 words)
Write a brief (no more than 100 words) summary of your source - include highlights, and any information you deem "important." Give the basic ideas of the source.

3) Evaluation of source (1 paragraph - 100 words)
Consider the following questions when writing your evaluation paragraph:
1. What is the author’s main point/thesis?
2. What was the author’s purpose and the main points/evidence cited used to backup the author’s purpose.
3. What are the credentials/areas of expertise of the author?
4. Was the evidence used by the author accurate?
5. Does the author’s use and interpretation of this evidence lead to the reader to the same conclusion?
6. Did the author build a logical argument?
7. Is there other evidence that would support a counter argument?
8. Are the article and the evidence still valid or are they outdated, leading to an invalid conclusion?
9. Was the author successful in making his/her point?

4) Reflection on relevance (how the source will be used in your paper - 100 words)
In addition to explaining how you can apply this source to your topic, and therefore, how you will use it in your paper, consider the following questions in this section:
1. Do you agree with the author?
2. Why do you agree with the author? (or disagree)
3. What is the worth, effectiveness, and usefulness of this source?


What does an annotated bibliography look like? (from OWL at Purdue)

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995. Print.

Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic. In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun.

Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.

Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.