Unlike the common type of a bibliography, an annotated bibliography is larger and more detailed. Some annotations summarize, whereas others evaluate or assess a source mentioned. Better known as a list of citations to documents, articles and books, an annotated bibliography features a citation followed by a short brief that can either be evaluative or descriptive. The main purpose is to keep the reader informed, convey accuracy, and prove that the overall paper you've written is well-researched. Here is a MLA annotated bibliography example to help you get inspired.
Dos and Don'ts When Writing an Annotated Bibliography
Choose a source and make sure it's formatted properly. Note that MLA has specific format requirements you should follow. The last name comes first followed by the first name. The title of the cited source should be written in all caps as well as put in quotation marks. The period, separating the title from the publisher, should be placed before the closing quotation mark.
Make sure to add the name of the publisher and year of publication. If you're citing an article from an online source (ebook, journal, magazine), keep in mind that in MLA style you don't have to include the URL of the website. However, your source must have an author and a title.
Here is an example:
- Wayne, Grady. “Technology.” Groundwood Books. 2010.
The author, who has written fourteen other books on natural history and science, talks about the way technology has evolved over centuries. Wayne Grady's research begins from the Stone Age and it extends all the way till today, the Age of the Internet. In the book, he examines the connection between technology and war as well as the relationship humans have with it. He emphasizes on the fact that over the years technology has alienated people from each other, as well as from the natural habitats.
The annotation we have presented above describes the source (the book “Technology”), as well as the author's point of view on the subject. Do NOT confuse an abstract with an annotation. Abstracts are descriptive summaries that are often found in periodical indexes and scholarly journal articles.
What to Avoid When Writing an Annotated Bibliography
Students often confuse annotations with literature reviews. Even though, the two may feature similarities, they're different. First of all, a literature review is longer and more detailed, whereas an annotation is short, concise and to the point (at most 200 words). Second, annotations are standalone sections that are added right after a citation. A literature review of sources can be linked and categorized to suit an objective and argument.
In theory, writing an annotated bibliography seems easy. In practice, things are a bit different. Students should first master the MLA formatting. Then, they should decide upon a type of the annotation: descriptive or evaluative. Last but not least, in MLA, annotations feature a single paragraph that shouldn't be longer than 200 words. Make sure to summarize that you want to convey in a crystal-clear and concise way.
Do not be scared! It's quite easier than it can seem for the first time. Use our Free Citation Generator just in case you are wondering to double-check yourself.