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MLA 9th Edition Style Guide: Annotated Bibliographies

Overview

An annotated bibliography assignment is often given as part of the process of writing a research paper.

The purpose is usually to encourage you to

  • gather sources early
  • think about how you will use the sources in your paper
  • consider whether you are using the most appropriate sources for this particular paper

An annotated bibliography has two parts:

  1. the MLA Citation
  2. the annotation

For the first part, follow the usual MLA guidelines for creating your citation.

For the second part, an annotation usually consists of a summary and analysis of the source. Your professor likely has specific guidelines for how long the annotation should be and what questions it should address. Read your assignment to find out.

Here are some general questions to consider:

  • What are the author's credentials (education and experience)? Do these qualify the author to discuss the topic of the source?
  • What is this source about?
  • Does the author have an opinion about the topic?
  • How old is the source?
  • How is this source relevant to my paper?
  • How will I use this source in my paper?
  • Are there better sources out there that I could be using?
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