an•no•ta•tion: n. 1. The act or process of furnishing critical commentary or explanatory notes. 2. A critical or explanatory note; a commentary.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., Houghton Mifflin, 2009.
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
A list of citations for books, articles, websites, and other materials where each citation is accompanied by a brief descriptive and evaluative statement, called an annotation.
Annotations are different from the abstracts you will find accompanying journal article citations in online databases. Abstracts are descriptive. Your annotation must extend beyond the descriptive element to include an evaluation of the book or article.
An annotated bibliography is a tool for exploring a topic of interest. The process of reading and reflecting on the materials you find in the gather part of the research process can help you understand the topic, identify multiple perspectives, explore different methods used to investigate the topic, and give you ideas for developing the thesis for your paper.
How are Annotations Created?
Questions to consider when evaluating the item and writing your annotation include:
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. 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'.
The annotations should show that you have carefully conducted your research and critically analyzed the information you will use to write your paper. Below is an example of an annotated bibliography in MLA style.
Annotated Bibliographies. University Libraries, U of Nevada Las Vegas, www.library.unlv.edu/, 2018.