Annotated Bibliography

What is An Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of references to books, articles, and documents that you are using as sources for your paper. Each reference is followed by the ‘annotation,’ which contains two paragraphs: a brief source summary paragraph and a response/evaluative paragraph.

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What are the purposes of the annotated bibliography?

To format your sources into full APA references (these will later make up the Reference page of your essay).
To help you understand what you’ve researched and to demonstrate this understanding through summary.
To evaluate the credibility of the sources you are using.
To begin formulating your position in relationship to the source.

How to Begin:

First, locate the two scholarly sources that have been provided to you as positions on your topic. Keep in mind that these sources represent different views on your topic. As such, they should support both your stance or your opposition’s stance. Remember – one paragraph of your controlled argumentative research essay must include a discussion of your opposition.
Next, read and annotate (take notes, highlight, underline, pose questions, respond to) your sources. Your goal is to ensure you understand your chosen sources’ main points.
Then, reference the book, article, or document using APA style citation and begin writing your annotations.

How to Annotate:

Write two paragraphs of annotations for EACH SOURCE. The information included in each paragraph should be as follows:

Paragraph 1 (THEY SAY): completely and respectfully summarize the source. What argument is being made? What evidence is given in support of the argument? Give an overview of the main points of this source in your own words. This paragraph should be objective, meaning it is only recapping what the source has said; avoid adding your own position quite yet.

Paragraph 2 (I SAY): Is the author credible? How or why? (Think about why the source deserves to have a voice in your paper; how does it compliment your own stance, or how does it compliment the opposition’s stance.) Do you agree or disagree with the argument? Why? (Think about what is convincing about it, what flaws exist in it, how it influences you, etc.)

How It Should Look:

Be sure to consult the example
provided (note: this example shows just one source; you are required to complete this activity for two sources). A few key points:

The annotated bibliography’s two sources must be in alphabetical order by the first item in the APA reference citation (usually the author’s last name)
Each reference must have a hanging indent on the second and each additional line of each source. Watch
this video for a tutorial on how to do a hanging indent.
(Links to an external site.)
Annotated Bibliographies must be double-spaced.


Remember, two sources that represent different positions on your topic are provided to you for this paper. These are the sources you will annotate for this assignment.

Each source must include three elements:

Complete APA reference
Paragraph that summarizes the source
Paragraph that discusses source’s credibility and provides your response to the source (your agreement, disagreement, or a combination of both).

Assignment should be double-spaced and submitted as a Microsoft Word document (docx).

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