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Submit a 750-1000 word annotated bibliography of the selected sources you will use to
write Essay #6 (your annotated bibliography will include a short story and a poem from
the Backpack Literature textbook and four essays and/or articles from the TROY Library
databases). List your six sources in alphabetical order, according to author’s last name.
Include all information required by the MLA style for each citation. You can find this in your
Writers Reference textbook or online at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
A bibliography is usually thought of as an alphabetical listing of books at the end of a written
work (essay or article, book, book chapter, etc.), to which the author referred during the
research and writing process. In addition to books and articles, bibliographies can include
sources such as reviews, reports, interviews, or even non-print resources like Web sites, video
or audio recordings. Because they may include such varied resources, bibliographies are also
referred to as “Works Cited” or “Works Consulted” (the latter can include those titles that
merely contributed to research, but were not specifically cited in text). The standard
bibliography details the citation information of the consulted sources: author(s), title, date of
publication, and publisher’s name and location (and for articles: journal title, volume, issue,
and page numbers). The primary function of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in
finding the sources used in the writing of a work.
To these basic citations, the annotated bibliography adds descriptive and evaluative
comments (i.e., an annotation), assessing the nature and value of the cited works. The
addition of commentary provides the future reader or researcher essential critical information
and a foundation for further research. Composing an annotated bibliography in the draft stage
of a project also helps a writer identify and assess the sources s/he is working with. Be sure to
include a statement detailing how the source is useful to your research and how the source
will be used in your completed essay.
While an annotation can be as short as one sentence, the average entry in an annotated
bibliography consists of a work’s citation information followed by a short paragraph, roughly
100-150 words in length, which should include brief and selective direct quotes. The
annotated bibliography is compiled by:
Considering scope: For this assignment, you are required to include the six sources you are
using to write Essay #6, which includes primary sources — a short story and a poem, and four
secondary sources — the essays/articles you research in the TROY Library databases.
Devising a research strategy, conducting a search for the sources, and retrieving them.
Evaluating retrieved sources by reading them and noting your findings and impressions
Once a final group of sources has been selected, give the full citation data (according to MLA
bibliographic style; see your Writer’s Reference textbook) and write an annotation for each
source; do not list a source more than once
Annotations begin on the line following the citation data and may be composed with
complete sentences or as verb phrases (the cited work being understood as the subject). The
annotation should include most, if not all, of the following:
Identify the author’s thesis
Brief description of the work’s format and content
Theoretical basis and currency of the author’s argument or subject/theme
Value and significance of the work as a contribution to the subject under consideration
Possible shortcomings or bias in the work
Any significant special features of the work (e.g., glossary, appendices, particularly good
Your own brief impression of the work
How the source is valuable to your research and how it will be used in your completed essay
Not to be confused with the abstract—which merely gives a summary of the main points of
a work—the annotated bibliography always describes and evaluates those points.
Example (MLA format)
Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. “Nonfamily Living
and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations
among Young Adults.” American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data
from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test
their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values,
plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles.
They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects
were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before
marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about
families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant
gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living. The data has
led me to research similar studies and add additional perspectives to my thesis
claiming that the literary story challenges traditional sex roles. I will use this data in
my essay to show contrasting sex roles attitudes over a period of several decades.
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