Annotated Bibliography Guidelines

Once you have completed your proposal and received feedback from me, the next phase of your research projects will be to compile an annotated bibliography–a list of sources you plan to cite, with a short explanation of what roles they’ll play in your essay.

Cornell University’s library offers a good overview of the genre of the annotated bibliography. It’s worth checking out.

For your annotated bibliographies, you should do the following:

  1. Create a full list of works you will cite, in alphabetical order, following MLA Guidelines–or the citation style best suited to your discipline (possibly likely APAor Chicago).
  1. Write a few, concise sentences that explain how and whythese sources will help you make your argument. For example, a source might help you establish motive or illustrate a point; it might provide background information or a counter-argument you want to address. Describe the source’s content as well as its functions in your essay. It may or may not be relevant to offer some details about the author (field of study, previous works, status, etc.).
  1. Name the discipline and methodology of the source–and explain how and why these impinge on the role it will play in your project.
  2. Include a diagram of your “ballroom” of sources (see Gaipa)—on a separate page.


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