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Assignment | Frankenstein Annotated Bibliography (Pentecost): Annotated Bibliography

Spring 2019 | ENGL 1302 | Prof. R. Pentecost

Monster walking in forest at night

MLA: Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a citation list, but each source citation is followed by a paragraph of explanation and justification: why is this source one of your sources? What does it bring to your research?

You will summarize the relevant information you're getting from that source (but remember, this isn't your paper -- you are summarizing, not presenting all the information itself) as well as how this well help you in your research (by providing background information, by exploring a certain angle, by presenting a contrary idea...).

Creating an annotated bibliography is not simply an academic exercise. An annotated bibliography is a tool to help you summarize your source content and evaluate its place within your research. If a source satisfies your "usefulness" criteria, that source belongs on your annotated bibliography. This process begins the transition from reading sources to incorporating content (ideas, quotes, paraphrasing) into your work. It is time to "make sense" of the knowledge you have gained from your research. This knowledge is the foundation on which to build your own voice, explain your methodology, discuss your conclusions, make and report on your new knowledge. 

Of course, evaluation of sources goes beyond "usefulness" to the other elements of authority, credibility, currency, and purpose.


Consulted Saylor Academy's open access course on research concepts and the writing process:  Research Writing in The Academic Disciplines. Annotated bibliographies have additional purposes that depend on the intent of the writer/researcher and the specific discipline.  
  1. Citation
  2. Annotation is a brief and concise statement about the source. Think in terms of a "note" consisting of 4-6 sentences.
  • summarize the main points of the article
  • examine how this source pertains to the argument you are crafting
  • write a brief analysis of how the source works for your argument
  • include at least one quotation you can work into your final research paper
  • (225 words for each source not counting quotation or citation)