mla citation format annotated bibliography
The MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition does not include guidelines for formatting an annotated bibliography. However, your professor may assign an annotated bibliography in MLA style. The annotated bibliography contains descriptive or evaluative comments about your sources. Each citation should adhere to MLA guidelines. Begin your comments immediately following the citation. The title might be ‘Annotated Bibliography’ or ‘Annotated List of Works Cited’.
Your instructor may request an annotated bibliography in order to evaluate the types of sources you are selecting for your research. The annotations should show that you have carefully conducted your research and critically analyzed the information you will use to write your paper. The good news is that the ‘Works Cited’ list will be almost complete before you begin writing. Below is an example of an annotated bibliography in MLA style.
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An annotated bibliography is a list of sources one has used or intends to use for a research project. It differs from a regular bibliography in that an annotated bibliography includes a summary or evaluation of each source. Annotated bibliographies serve as great preparation for research projects because you will have a better idea of what each source on your bibliography is about and how it is relevant to your work.
An annotated bibliography contains two parts, a citation of the source and a short summary of the source. It may also include a statement from the individual using the source about why this source is relevant to his/her work. Typically your professor will determine the length and necessary content for annotations. As with a standard bibliography or works cited page, an annotated bibliography should list the citations in alphabetical order and the document should be double spaced. Use a hanging indent so that all lines after the first line of the citation are indented. This includes the entirety of the annotation; the author’s last name is the only text that should be left aligned.
- The text and the works cited list should be double-spaced.
- Number your pages at the top right of the page.
- Reference list entries must have a hanging indent (to do this in Microsoft Word 2003, select the citation, click Format, then Paragraph, then Special, and choose Hanging).
- There should be 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins all around (top, bottom, left, and right) on each page.
- Use Times Roman font, or a similar serif font.
- Capitalize each important word (noun or verb) in a book or article title.
- Each paragraph should be indented.
Sample Page: MLA-formatted annotated bibliography
An Annotated Bibliography is a working list of references —books, journal articles, online documents, websites, etc.—that you might use for an essay, research paper, or project. It may include more sources than your final paper as you may end up not using some of your sources. The reference citation of your source is in APA, MLA, or Chicago Style – see the appropriate tab above.
Each reference citation is followed by a short summary and/or evaluation, also known as an annotation . This brief paragraph explains what is in that source as it applies to your paper. Don’t just repeat what’s in the book or article . Instead, consider:
The Libraries’ Research Commons offers a number of videos about organizing your research, using citation managers, writing a literature review, and more. They also offer Common Quandries Workshops and Writing and Research Events throughout the semester which include introductions to a variety of skills, tools, and concepts to researchers on campus.
Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, left, for the most complete information on how to cite your sources. The web pages below may also provide helpful information and examples:
Published 4 November 2016
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Writing an Annotated Bibliography
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When you use an outside source such as a book, article or webpage for your research by either direct quote or paraphrase and/or summary, you must list that source in your References (APA) or Works Cited (MLA) page. A citation allows you to give credit to those authors whose research you are using and allows your readers to find and examine those sources. Please remember to cite all the sources you use in your paper. It is an i mportant step in avoiding Plagiarism (see John Jay College’s Policy on Academic Integrity).
There are numerous citation styles to follow when creating an annotated bibliography, References page (APA) or Works Cited page (MLA). Use our research guide on Citation Styles for help with citing your sources properly.