annotated bibliography

Topic and Annotated Bibliography.
Begin by identifying a question or area of interest for your essay. It is better to be focused than broad in approach and coverage. Feel free to reach out in advance of the deadline to meet with your instructor and TA about preliminary ideas for topics and if you need guidance on narrowing scope. You may select from among:

body cams and police brutality
surveillance and tactics of counter-surveillance (be specific about the context of surveillance and counter-surveillance)
the use of images in protest movements (pick a specific movement)
a topic of your own choosing. If you opt for this, you must get your Instructors approval.

Research. Once you have made your selection, research existing knowledge on this topic by reviewing 3 critical articles or books, at least 1 of which must be a scholarly or peer-reviewed source (they must be sources that you find outside course material.

Write an annotated bibliography of the 3 critical sources.

Each annotation should be brief (max. 150 words @ 3 sources = 450-word annotated bibliography). The annotated bibliography consists of:

a summary of the source
critical assessment of its argument, focusing on strengths and weaknesses
evaluation of its relevance and use for your topic

Please note that the topic and annotated bibliography are integrated into (they are the building blocks for) the proposal. All of these componentstopic, bibliography, and proposalmust all be submitted as one Word or Pages document on the same date. For details on the specific elements of the proposal, see below.


Any citation style listed here is acceptable, as long as it is used consistently.

Sample annotation. This example illustrates the format for your annotation as well as the elements to include in your annotation.

Breeding evil. (2005, August 6). Economist, 376(8438), 9. Retrieved from

This editorial from the Economist describes the controversy surrounding video games and the effect they have on people who use them. The article points out that most critics of gaming are people over 40 and it is an issue of age not of the games themselves. While the author briefly mentions studies done around the issue of violence and gaming, he does not go into enough depth for the reader to truly know the range of studies that have actually been done in this area, other than to take his word that the research is unsatisfactory. The author of this article stresses the age factor over violence as the real reason for opposition to video games and stresses the good gaming has done in most areas of human life. This article is a good resource for those wanting to begin to explore the controversy surrounding video games, however for anyone doing serious research, one should actually examine some of the research studies that have been done in this area rather than simply take the author’s word that opposition to video games is simply due to an issue of generational divide. This article provides a point of departure for my essay, as I plan to counter its argument and suggest

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Annotated Bibliography

Can you help me understand this Writing question?

We are ready to begin working on our research essay although it is not due for another week or more. We will all use the same topic, a simple one that is focused on explaining Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo, when it was written, what it is about, its influence on Latin American Literature. I suggest that you start with simple research about Pedro Paramo.

As you prepare this essay please beware that you must include and quote three to five outside sources, use the MLA format, and in the process of the paper explain Pedro Paramo, its origins, intentions, and influences.

I made the topic very simple, so if you have never written a documented essay, you will still have no trouble. You can use as few as three sources, as I say above, and we have been working the whole term on the format, except we now will deploy several quotations and certainly a works cited page.

This one should be multiple paragraphs, perhaps some 1,000 words or at least close to that number. You must have three to five sources, all of which are quoted in the body of the paper at least once consistent with the MLA style. The paper uses parenthetical references and must have a Works Cited, which, unlike the annotated bibliography, contains the reference but not the annotations

Remember that this essay is on the Mexican classic novel Pedro Paramo. Your essay should examine primary sources, that is articles by specific authors, not any encyclopedia or Wikipedia or generic sources. You can Google “articles on Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo” and find many good articles to quote from. Remember, you must have minimum three articles on your Works Cited, and you must quote at least one time from each of these although you can certainly quote more if you wish. This final paper, Essay 4, is a or the Documented Essay for this course and should be in Formal English in MLA style.

An annotated bibliography is basically the same as any works cited or references page but, and there is one big difference: after each reference, there are a few brief sentences summarizing the contents of the reference listed above it in the bibliography. The bibliography is still a list of sources in alphabetical order, but the difference is the summary of the article, book, or any other source appears immediately below the MLA reference–and this is called the annotation, hence an “annotated” bibliography. If you have any questions, Google annotated bibliography examples and look at one or more. To save time and be working on your documented essay at the same time, there is some logic to using the research items for Pedro Paramo, Magical Realism, and Juan Rulfo for this assignment.