An MLA Annotated Bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, scholarly journals & all other miscellaneous documents that you discover while researching for your final research paper online or physically at the library. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words, but a few strong sentences will suffice) descriptive & evaluative paragraph: the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevancy, accuracy, & quality of the sources cited.
In other words, an MLA Annotated Bibliography is a tool that all academic writers use in order to keep a running log of their research in real time as they research for & write their paper (similar to the search bar history on your web browser keeping track of everywhere you’ve been).
Not every source that you encounter will be helpful enough to use – it doesn’t matter. If you investigated it in any way, it goes on your MLA Annotated Bibliography. You might not end up using all of these in your paper, and some sources may need to be replaced with better ones for your final paper.
*Three things are required to appear within each annotation:
1. A brief synopsis of the source.
2. How it relates to your thesis.
3. All sources must be formatted in traditional, MLA format (similar to the Works Cited Page).
You will have a total of NINE citations/annotations. As long as you have the nine required sources, you may add additional sources as needed. More than nine is fine, but less than nine is not.
*Remember to put everything in alphabetical order by author’s last names. If there is no author, this is a red flag that perhaps you could find a better source. If you’d still like to use an authorless source, default to the first word of the title (not “the” or “a”).
*Using weak, invalid, or fake news sources (however unintentionally) will result in a lower grade on this assignment. Make a careful and critical examination of all sources before including them.*
*Failure to meet the citations minimum will result in automatic failure.*
Mandatory Source Type Requirements
A source that gives background and context on your overall topic.
A current news article (or as current as possible) about something that happened relating to your topic.
An opinion based piece on your topic. Look in newspaper Op-Ed sections to easily find these. You can search the newspaper archives for the subject.
An article that DISAGREES with your stance on this subject. This will help you address the opposing side. Hint: use the Opposing Viewpoints database.
A visual source like a chart, map, graph, photograph, etc. that relates in a meaningful way to your topic.
A study of some kind/ published research on your topic.
An article from a peer reviewed journal relating to the field your topic falls under. You’ll need to search the library databases.
A TED Talk about your topic. Please note that TED talks are cited in MLA as lectures, not as online videos. See example:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Talk.” TED. Month and Year. Lecture.
9. A source from the textbook. Since most of the topics came from the textbook, and were designed to correspond to one of the readings, this shouldn’t be a problem. To be clear, I am talking about the Readings section of the book ONLY. This begins with Ch. 23 and goes to the end. Use any of those articles. Ch. 1-22 are instructional, and not published articles and they are very different.
As long as you meet the previous 9 source requirements, you may use any additional sources as you choose (except fake news!). I encourage you to get creative. Just remember, all of these must be cited and instructions for doing so are in our text book or can be googled.