Page updated: 21-Aug-2012 01:52 AM

Annotated Bibliographies AND Works Cited pages

View a sample annotated bibliography from another student

Remember these basic rules when documenting your sources in your Works Cited page:

  1. Remember to alphabetize your entries by author's last name.  Do not to number them.  If a source has no author, then alphabetize by the title of the source.  Ignore articles (a, an, the) when determining alphabetical order.
  2. Be sure your margins are set to 1 inch all the way around
  3. Either underline or italicize (italics preferred), but don't mix formats.  (Underlining means the same thing as italicizing.)
  4. MLA says to abbreviate months to the first three letters (e.g. Dec.), except for May, June, and July.  September is abbreviated to Sept.
  5. In your annotations (the part after the bibliographic information), remember that names of titles (like periodical, magazine, newspaper, and journal titles--hint, hint) get italicized.
  6. Put 2 spaces after end punctuation (i.e. units of information, like the author's name and the title of an article).
  7. Even though the original source may take liberties by not capitalizing words in titles, or adding a lot of extra bibliographic information, you still have to adjust the capitalization and follow all the other MLA conventions for documenting your sources.
  8. The new version of MLA documentation requires that you identify the medium of your source by indicating either Print, Web, DVD, and so forth at the very end of your bibliographic entry.

All these things have to do with giving your attention to detail. I will be VERY picky about attention to detail.  For grading the annotated bibliographies, I will deduct one half point for every detail I find wrong.  Everyone starts with 100 points. This is your chance to take control of your grade.  It is very easy to get an A on this assignment as long as you are willing to devote the time to meticulously following the MLA conventions.  It means taking out the handbook and going over each entry with a fine toothed comb.

If you send me a draft of your Annotated Bibliography, I can't go through and point out individual errors because that wouldn't be fair to the rest of the class, but the numbered items above are some areas that are commonly overlooked.

Though these may seem like trivial things (and in many ways they are) this exercise does have a payoff: past students have told me that it teaches them to be even more picky in their papers when they submit them.

  • If anyone sends me a Annotated Bib. draft and I see other items of interest to the class, I will just add them to the numbered list above.