Annotated Bibliography Assignment

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Annotated bibliographies provide brief overviews or summaries of articles related to a specific topic. Often they are compiled in order to demonstrate what sources are available on a topic a scholar considers studying.

This assignment asks you to find and reflect critically on at least 5 RELEVANT t sources that you are planning on using for your formal report. (If you need to refresh your memory regarding the requirements for your formal research report, visit the assignment’s description in Lesson 8.) Writing the bibliography before your report will help you begin to synthesize the arguments surrounding your research topic.

Assignment Guidelines

Your annotated bibliography should meet the following criteria:

  1. You should include a brief, one paragraph introduction of your research topic. This introduction will also act as a summary of the ethical dilemma or controversy you have selected to research. The purpose of this section is to also introduce the sources you have annotated and to explain how they relate to each other.
  2. You must include a variety of types of sources (journal articles, newspaper articles, books, sources in print and from NC-Live). Most of your sources should be no more than about five years old.
    • You must include sources that provide multiple perspectives on the controversy or ethical dilemma you have selected.
    • Do not include encyclopedia or dictionary entries (You may consult these to learn background materials about your topic, but they will not count as one of your required five sources of information).
  3. Provide bibliographic information for each source (just as in the Works Cited section of a paper), using MLA format.
  4. Summarize each source in a brief, one-paragraph annotation. These annotations should provide brief overviews of the sources. What are the key points addressed in the source? How will the source be useful?


For each of your sources, you should provide the complete bibliographic source information using MLA format.


Your annotations for each of your 5 sources should do the following:

  • summarize the source (chapter, book, article, or the like)
  • identify the piece’s argument (or main point)
  • rely primarily on your own words and phrasing-use summary and paraphrase
  • discuss the source’s strength(s). For instance, does the item offer a good introduction to the issue? Does the item deal with a particular aspect of the issue that is especially relevant to the overall controversy you plan to address in your formal report?
  • describe how this piece will contribute to your project.


  • Your entire annotated bibliography, including the introduction, should be single spaced.
  • Your annotated bibliography should be typed in size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font.
  • Your annotated bibliography should have 1 inch margins on all sides.
  • Your annotated bibliography should contain an accurate MLA heading.
  • Your annotated bibliography should follow MLA format.
  • Each annotation should be approximately 4-6 sentences long. Each annotation should not exceed a 1/2 page single spaced.
  • Each annotation should briefly summarize the type of source (is it a book? a journal?), summarize the piece’s argument, highlight strength(s) of the source, and explain how the source will contribute to your report.
  • Your annotated bibliography should be clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

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Assignment Solutions

Assignment Solutions