What’s the purpose of an annotated bibliography?
To gather and summarize information about a topic you are researching into one document
To create a quick reference sheet which will remind you of what your various sources argued and how they are useful to your paper
To preserve a record of research about your topic which may be shared with others in your field
Who is the audience?
Yourself, in that the document will help you in your own writing and research
Others (including your instructor) who might be interested in reading an overview of the topic you researched. For this reason, clarity, professionalism and neatness are important in an annotated bibliography.
How to do it:
Make an MLA works cited list of 15 or more relevant sources you’ve found on your topic. Then, beneath each citation, write an annotation paragraph: 1) A summary of the theme/purpose of the source, 2) an evaluation of the author’s background or authority, 3) a comment on the intended audience, 4) a comparison of this source to a previously cited source, and 5) an explanation of how the source helps define, complicate, or clarify the topic.
Organize your citations alphabetically, by author, using hanging indentations (traditional Works Cited page format). You are encouraged to use EasyBib.com to help you put each entry in the appropriate format. All types of sources have different types of citation, so be sure to enter your information in the appropriate category (Interview? Article? Photograph? Database? Etc…)
To make your bibliography easy to read, please bold the citation, but leave the annotation paragraph un-bolded. It will make everything easier on the eyes.
REVIEW OF SOURCE REQUIREMENTS
-Minimum of fifteen sources.
-Five of those sources must be print-based (from a book, newspaper, or magazine).
-Five of those sources must be a scholarly article (find via Badgerlink under H.S. Applications).
-At least one source must be from YouTube
-At least one source must be from the New York Times
-You are strongly encouraged to include photographs (as primary sources, not decorations) that can be inserted in your final paper. These must be included in the bibliography, but be aware that they DO NOT COUNT toward the 15-source requirement!
Two sample annotations for your reference:
(Topic- Jacques Cousteau)
Than, Ker. "Jacques Cousteau Centennial: What He Did, Why He Matters." National Geographic Daily News. National Geographic, 11 June 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .
This article for National Geographic News celebrates what would have been the 100th birthday of ocean exploration pioneer Jacques Cousteau. The article overviews five of Cousteau's major achievements: pioneering scuba equipment, creating underwater film footage to bring the ocean to millions of viewers, inventing underwater base camps, restricting commercial whaling, and helping to stop the underwater dumping of nuclear waste. The main point of the article is that Cousteau started out as an explorer, not an environmentalist. As he grew to further understand the ways that humans were harming the beautiful underwater world that he devoted his life to exploring, he became more outspoken about protecting it. He was one of the first to speak out about ocean preservation; even though he also contributed to harming ocean ecosystems earlier in his career, he ended up as a true activist. This source is widely respected in the scientific community.
The Cousteau Society. "Who We Are." Homepage. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .
This site describes and provides connections to two non-for profit societies founded by Cousteau which continue to operate in his memory. The Cousteau Society is a worldwide organization which sponsors exploration, education, and protection efforts surrounding water systems. Equipe Cousteau, a sister society, is headquartered in France for the same purposes, and to help establish Cousteau's home nation as a world leader in ocean preservation. This site is a wealth of information regarding Cousteau's legacy, as it chronicles the efforts that continue to be applied today, all over the world, to protect water ecosystems with Jacques Cousteau as a founder and inspiration. Clearly, it will be more biased than other sources in that it celebrates Cousteau’s legacy and will not be critical of his actions.