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Annotated Bibliography Guide

Formatting Your Annotated Bibliography

The format of an annotated bibliography can vary, so if you're doing one for a different class, ask your instructor for specific guidelines.  You can also review section 5.132: Annotated Bibliographies in the online MLA Handbook.

  1. MLA Header: Include a standard MLA header in the top-right corner of every page with your last name and page number
  2. Standard MLA Format: Double space the entire annotated bibliography, and use a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman.  Use 1 inch margins.
  3. Standard MLA Heading: Begin with a normal MLA heading (your name, instructor's name, course section, and date (in the top-left corner)
  4. Title: On the next line, title your paper Annotated Bibliography and center it in the middle of the page
  5. Working Thesis: Then include your working thesis statement that you're going to use in your research paper (and your annotated bibliography).
  6. Bibliography: List MLA citations for your 5 sources, arrange them in alphabetical order.
  7. Annotations: Under each citation, write a paragraph about each source that includes:
  • Several sentences summarizing what the source said (yes, you should actually read the source to do this). (Hint: Ask yourself what the main point of this source was and what conclusions the author came to)
  • Then several sentences evaluating the credibility of the source (see Evaluating Your Sources).
  • Finally a sentence or two about how you are going to use this source to support your thesis when you write your research paper. (Hint: Ask yourself how this work is useful or relevant to your topic? What did you take away from the source that you could use in your argument?)