How to Annotate
An annotated bibliography includes a summary and evaluation of each source. While the requirements for annotations will change from class to class, your annotations for this course should contain at least two sentences of summary, two of assessment, and two of reflection. This will make each annotation a small paragraph. You should be able to fit no more than 2 annotations on a page. Summary: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. For more help, see Purdue’s handout on paraphrasing sources. Assessment (evaluation): After summarizing a source, it will be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? Is the information reliable and current? Is it this source biased or attempt to be objective? What is the goal of this source? For more help, see Purdue’s handouts on evaluating resources. Reflection: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?
First, type out the MLA or APA citation for the source. Then, drop to the next line and start your annotation. Remember that all three elements (summary, assessment, and reflection) must be present for each source. For an example, please see the next page. If you would like to see more examples, see our class website.
Holland, Suzanne. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate : Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Boston: MIT Press, 2001.
This is the annotation of the above source. In this example, I am following MLA guidelines for the bibliographic information listed above. If I was really writing...
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