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Creating an MLA Annotated Bibliography for a Literary Topic

This guide is intended to help you create an annotated bibliography for your research in English 102, Writing and Literature. We will be presenting a literary topic that we have researched and step-by-step instructions on preparing this assignment in MLA


Annotations play a specific role in literary bibliography and should accomplish some or all of the following tasks:

1.) Summarize the source.

What is the point of this book or article?

What are the main arguments?

What topics are covered?

2.) Assess the source.

Is the information reliable?

Is it biased, controversial, or objective?

How does it compare with other sources for your paper?

3.) Reflect on this source.

How does this source fit into your research?

In what way is it useful to your paper or how do you plan on using it?

How does it help you shape your argument?

Has this source changed the way you think about your topic?

You may also use the annotations to make note of key quotes or references to important passages that you plan to use in your paper. For these you should use In-Text Citations in MLA Format.

Watch this video for a demonstration on adding annotations to citations:


Elements of this annotation

Green = Summary        Purple = Assessment       Orange = Reflection      Yellow Highlight = In Text Citations

Dalrymple, Terry, and John Wegner. "We Could Be So Good Together: Rock and Roll and American
         Fiction." Nebula 4.2 (2007): 306-18. Humanities Source. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

           This critical article from a journal of interdisciplinary scholarship explores the ways that Rock and Roll has factored into American fiction over the past 40 years. The authors claim that the rhythm, poetry, and rebellious motifs of Rock have been reflected everywhere in American politics, culture and religion from the mid-20th century onward. Events in our country were also reflected back to us through Rock songs. (308) The article quotes another scholar who wrote about the split that took place between the more innocent tunes of the 1960s and the harder sounds and personalities (Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin) of the late-60s early 70s rockers, an idea that deserves further exploration. (309) The authors use “Where Are You Going . . .” as one of three examples of the integration of Rock and Roll into American fiction. They write at length about the symbolic language and song lyric references suggested in Oates’s text that I will apply to my analysis of the characterizations of Connie and Friend. I will use this source to bolster my observations of music mythology in the story, as well as to build an argument that Oates is aligning Rock’s darker turn with the story’s sinister turn. Much of what this source claims about the generational divide between the post-War adults and countercultural youth is echoed in the Cruise article on “Cold War Hermeneutics.” 

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