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Assignment | Art Mini-Research Sequence (Armstrong): MLA Writing & Citing

ARTS 1301, 1303, & 1304 Art History & Art Appreciation | Prof. Janna Armstrong (Fall 2021)


Pro-Tip!If you include information in your paper that is not original to you -- whether it's directly quoted or paraphrased -- you must include an in-text citation that corresponds to an entry on your Works Cited page!

MLA Resources

MLA Online Guide

Quick Links:

Additional Resources:


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LSC-University Park students have access to free premium Grammarly accounts! Invites are sent to your LSC email at the start of the semester. Learn more on the Grammarly guide.

Example Citations

Bijl, Martin, and Wouter Kloek. “A Painting Re-Attributed to Aelbert Cuyp: Connoisseurship and Technical Research.” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 156, no. 1331, 2014, pp. 91–98. JSTOR,

Kindall, Elizabeth. "Visual Experience in Late Ming Suzhou 'Honorific' and 'Famous Sites' Paintings." Ars Orientalis, vol. 36, 2009, pp. 137–177. JSTOR,

Lewis, Sarah Elizabeth. “Groundwork: Race and Aesthetics in the Era of Stand Your Ground Law.” Art Journal, vol. 79, no. 4, Winter 2020, pp. 92–113. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/00043249.2020.1779547.



Ates, Tiffany Y. "How Amy Sherald’s Revelatory Portraits Challenge Expectations." Smithsonian Magazine, Dec. 2019,

Kimmelman, Michael. "Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91." The New York Times, 16 Jan. 2009,

No Author:

"Wyeth Family Artists." Brandywine River Museum of Art,

Art Reproduced on a Website:

Hopper, Edward. House by the Railroad. 1925. MoMA,

Wyeth, Andrew. Self-Portrait. 1945, National Academy Museum & School, New York. Google Arts & Culture,

Artist's Own Site:*

*rare situation, honestly, especially since you can't use artists from after 1970. Don't mistake a third-party site as "official."

Sherald, Amy. Planes, rockets, and the spaces in between. 2018,

For the Resource Guide: MLA Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a works cited list, but each citation for your sources 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 5-6 sentences.
  • One sentence to evaluate why the author is an expert on the topic(authority).
  • A sentence on the intended audience of the source (purpose).
  • A few sentences (perhaps a paraphrase) that explain how this source will illuminate your topic and how you will use the content in your paper (usefulness or relevance).
  • Any other criteria of note for this topic or discipline? 

Image of MLA 9th annotated bibliography example