In an annotated bibliography, you research your topic and write an annotation for each source that you plan to use in your research essay. More specifically, each annotation should

  • evaluate the authority and credibility of this source’s author. Do not copy and paste from the author’s bio. Summarize his or her career yourself.
  • compare and/or contrast this source with another source in your annotated bibliography. When possible, use the authors’ last names when comparing.
  • describe how you plan to apply this source in the research essay. You must also include a quotation from the source, not to mention a citation.

Overall, devote an equal amount of text to each of these three areas. Also, to help the reader understand your argument, include a prospectus of your argument at the beginning of your annotated bibliography. A prospectus says, among other things, what your topic is, includes any necessary background information, explains the topic’s connection to you or current events, and–most importantly–what your thesis is. This is a formal essay, so avoid contractions and informal language (See the Style Guidelines below). First and second person (Iyouwe, etc.), though, are acceptable.

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Must include a prospectus with ten lines or more
Must include an open thesis, not a closed thesis
Must include an annotation with ten lines or more for each source (The works cited entry does not count toward the ten lines.)
Must divide these ten line equally between the evaluation, comparison, and application
Must include a quotation with citation in the application
Must not include floating quotations
Must not include block quotations
Must include exactly five reputable sources from Galileo, a college’s library, a local library, or newspapers or magazines (This includes online versions.)
Must not misspell words
Must not mistake similar words, such as then and than and whether and weather
Must not have any missing words, such as “The United States America”
Must not use WikipediaProCon.orgOpposing Viewpoints in ContextSalem Encyclopedia, or encyclopedias in general
Religious texts, inspirational quotations, and dictionary definitions may be used, but don’t count toward your five sources
Must include one source that doesn’t support your thesis. This will become your counterargument in Essay 4.

Prospectus must include a thesis
Annotations must not include topic sentences
Annotations must not include concluding sentences
Annotations must not include transitions
Essay must not end with a conclusion

Must not use the words thing and stuff
Must not use physical descriptors to describe importance, such as “big deal,” “huge success,” “hard time,” “a bit,” “a bunch,” “a lot,” “lots of,” “tons of,” etc.
Must not use more than one long string of prepositional phrases in each paragraph. A long string is three or more prepositional phrases in a row.
Must not use more than one phrasal verb in each paragraph
Must not use more than one passive voice sentence in each paragraph
Must not use more than one expletive sentence in each paragraph
Must not use contractions (can’twon’tdidn’t, etc.)
Note: you will not be penalized if the text that you quote doesn’t follow these style guidelines. Also, the “in each paragraph” restrictions allow you one instance per paragraph.

Double space
12 point text
Times New Roman typeface
1 inch margins
0 point spacing before and after paragraphs (See the Paragraph menu in Word)
MLA heading on the top left of the first page (See Sample Essay 3)
Page numbers with last name on the top right of the document’s header
Centered title after the MLA heading
Left aligned text
Tab at the beginning of each paragraph
Must cite quotations, paraphrases, and summaries with MLA in-text citations (See In-text Citations)
Must use paragraph numbers (par.) in in-text citations for source’s that don’t have proper page numbers, such as webpages
Must include an eighth edition MLA works cited page, which does not count toward the page limit (See Works Cited Pages)
Must alphabetize the works cited entries
Must use hanging indentations on the works cited entries
Must quote titles of articles and webpages in the essay and the works cited page
Must italicize titles of newspapers, magazines, websites, and databases in the essay and the works cited page
Must type n.p. if there is no publisher and n.d. if there is no publication date for each website’s works cited entry.
Must include the access date at the end of each online source’s works cited entry

Must not use intentional fragments for stylistic effect
Must not include comma splices or fused sentences

Example (Do not replicate the bold, italics, or underlining in your annotations)

Cannon, Jeffery B. and Peggy Brickman. “Helping Students Save: Assigning Textbooks Early Can Save Money and Enhance Learning.” Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. 44, no. 5, 2015, pp. 38-41, Academic Search Complete Accessed 1 Mar. 2019.

Jeffery B. Cannon is a doctoral candidate in The Plant Biology Department at The University of Georgia, while Peggy Brickman is a Professor of Plant Biology at The University of Georgia. She also focuses on the development and effectiveness of science curricula and strategies utilized in college science classrooms. Brickman and Cannon’s article is similar to Orlan’s article below because both articles identify ways to reduce the price of textbooks, but Orlan focuses more on digital versions of textbooks, not used textbooks like Brickman and Cannon. I will use this article to demonstrate how to save money with well-timed textbook purchases. For example, Brickman and Cannon say, “By assigning course textbooks during the registration period, instructors allow students to buy textbooks for one semester directly from students selling the same textbook the previous semester, which we have shown can lead to substantial savings for students” (41).


Evaluation of Author
Comparison of Sources
Application with Quotation and Citation


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