Annotated Bibliography Samples
This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.
Contributors: Geoff Stacks, Erin Karper, Dana Bisignani, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-02-20 13:19:26
For a sample of an entry from an annotated bibliography entry in PDF, click on the downloadable file in the media box above.
Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations.
Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.
Sample MLA Annotation
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor Books, 1995.
Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecuritiesand failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters inLamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic.
In the process, Lamottincludes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.
Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.
In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.
For information on formatting MLA citations, see our MLA 2016 Formatting and Style Guide.
Sample APA Annotation
Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.
The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.
For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide.
Sample Chicago Manual of Style Annotation
Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess. London: Routledge, 1998.
Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.
This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.
For information on formatting Chicago Style citations, see our Chicago Manual of Style resources.
MLA Works Cited: Periodicals
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
Contributors: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 01:34:01
Periodicals include magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Works cited entries for periodical sources include three main elements—the author of the article, the title of the article, and information about the magazine, newspaper, or journal. MLA uses the generic term “container” to refer to any print or digital venue (a website or print journal, for example) in which an essay or article may be included.
Use the following format for all citations:
Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Pub date, Location.
Article in a Magazine
Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The basic format is as follows:
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.
Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp. 143-48.
Article in a Newspaper
Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the newspaper title.
Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.
Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.
If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.
Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC],29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.
Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN], 5 Dec. 2000, p. 20.
To cite a review, include the title of the review (if available), then the phrase, “Review of” and provide the title of the work (in italics for books, plays, and films; in quotation marks for articles, poems, and short stories). Finally, provide performance and/or publication information.
Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Review of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, page.
Seitz, Matt Zoller. "Life in the Sprawling Suburbs, If You Can Really Call It Living." Review of Radiant City, directed by Gary Burns and Jim Brown. New York Times, 30 May 2007, p. E1.
Weiller, K. H. Review of Sport, Rhetoric, and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Media Representations, edited by Linda K. Fuller. Choice, Apr. 2007, p. 1377.
An Editorial & Letter to the Editor
Cite as you would any article in a periodical, but include the designators "Editorial" or "Letter" to identify the type of work it is.
"Of Mines and Men." Editorial. Wall Street Journal, eastern edition, 24 Oct. 2003, p. A14.
Hamer, John. Letter. American Journalism Review, Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007, p. 7.
Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical.
"Business: Global Warming's Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland." The Economist, 26 May 2007, p. 82.
"Aging; Women Expect to Care for Aging Parents but Seldom Prepare." Women's Health Weekly, 10 May 2007, p. 18.
An Article in a Scholarly Journal
A scholarly journal can be thought of as a container, as are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container can be thought of as anything that is a part of a larger body of works. In this case, cite the author and title of article as you normally would. Then, put the title of the journal in italics. Include the volume number (“vol.”) and issue number (“no.”) when possible, separated by commas. Finally, add the year and page numbers.
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.
Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.
Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly, vol.50, no. 3, 1994, pp. 127-53.
An Article in a Special Issue of a Scholarly Journal
When an article appears in a special issue of a journal, cite the name of the special issue in the entry’s title space, in italics. Add the descriptor “special issue of” and include the name of the journal, also in italics, followed by the rest of the information required for a standard scholarly journal citation.
Web entries should follow a similar format, and should include a URL, DOI, or permalink.
Burgess, Anthony. "Politics in the Novels of Graham Greene." Literature and Society, special issue of Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 2, no. 2, 1967, pp. 93-99.
Case, Sue-Ellen. “Eve's Apple, or Women's Narrative Bytes.” Technocriticism and Hypernarrative, special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 43, no. 3, 1997, pp. 631-50. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/mfs.1997.0056.