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How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography


An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of citations to research sources such as books, articles, and documents.  In addition to the bibliographic data, each citation is followed by a brief evaluative paragraph justifying the relevance of the source to your research, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.  Please stop by the library if you need assistance.

1.  Cite the book, article, document, or item using the appropriate MLA citation style.
2.  Write an evaluative paragraph that will explain how the source illuminates your topic.  Include one or more sentences that remark on the following.
 (a) Who is the author?  What is the author's background? For example, is the author a professor or scientist?

 (b) Comment on the purpose of the work.

•    What is the reason that you’ll be using the source?  Identify how it addresses the research question (or thesis, or hypothesis). 

Is it an overview to inform you? 

Is it a critical analysis or editorial comment? 

Is it scholarly, something written by an expert in the field?

•    Quote if you want to, but summarize and/or paraphrase for sure.


Example of a properly formatted Annotated Bibliography

Note, the following citations follow the MLA 7th ed. guidelines.   

Brown, David. “Victorian and Victorianism.” The Victorian Web. N.p., 8 Feb.

2005. Web. 10 Mar. 2010.

The essay, “Victorian and Victorianism” will help me define “Victorian” and understand ideas and events of the Victorian period. Created by George P. Landow, Professor of English at Brown University, The Victorian Web is a collection of essays about all things Victorian. The essay, “Victorian and Victorianism”, along with other essays from The Victorian Web, provides a much needed background for topics of the Victorian period related to Jane Eyre, including religion, gender, philosophy, science & technology.


Eagleton, Terry. “Jane Eyre: A Marxist Study.” Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre’.

        Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea, 1987. 29-45. Print.

Terry Eagleton, an Oxford University lecturer, analyzes Jane Eyre in terms of Marxist theory.  In the section “Jane Eyre: A Marxist Study”, Eagleton makes a connection between romantic elements in the novel and Jane’s assuming power in her relationship with Rochester.


Schact, Paul. “Jane Eyre and the History of Self-Respect.” Modern Language

     Quarterly (Dec. 1991): 423. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 18 Jan.


In “Jane Eyre and the History of Self-Respect”, Paul Schact, Professor of English at the State University of New York Genesco, talks about how self-respect is representative of the economic, political, and social condition of the 19th century in Jane Eyre. This article will help me highlight Jane Eyre’s struggle for independence, self-control, and how Rochester fails to intimidate her.

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