Writing an MLA Annotated Bibliography: Step-By-Step Guide

Constructing an Annotated Bibliography Using MLA Format

How credible are your information sources? Does a reader trust your research? Annotated bibliographies are typically meant to answer these two questions. Their purpose is to offer brief information about your reference sources. In approximately 150 words, a writer explains the context of facts derived from each of their citations, whether from published books, journal articles, etc.

Many scholars dread writing annotated bibliographies as they perceive them to be involving. While this is far from untrue, writers should consider using research tools such as Google, journals, and scholarly books to research tips for composing a bibliography and the forms it takes. The task becomes easier when one is armed with the right information.

It is worthwhile for learners to note the ideas mentioned below while including annotations in their research assignment:

  • Using information sources that are related to your research.
  • A critical evaluation of these sources
  • How the MLA format should be cited
  • Stating the Annotation after your citations

While annotating your bibliography, you must write a concise one that summarizes your study research scope. You can include a few sentences explaining some background information about the author, list the target audience, compare and contrast the findings of their research with that of writers, and explain how it justifies yours. 

Sample of an Annotated Bibliography- MLA Format

The key to writing excellent annotations is to incorporate relevant case studies in your research. While analyzing your sources, unsure not to use data from the abstract section usually provided at the beginning of scholarly journals. Abstracts are summaries of points highlighted, whereas annotations involve a critical analysis of the writer’s viewpoint.

While using the MLA format, there are things you ought to note. First, you should state your source of information that you are citing at the end of your write up. The citation should follow the sequence as follows. First, you should begin by indicating the author's name, followed by the title of the book or journal, the edition or the review, the book volume, year of publication, and lastly, the page number.

The above should be followed by a critical analysis of the source of information, i.e., a book or journal. The author should pay more attention to the page or section being cited. You can compare your source's findings with other sources and justify your conclusion. Writing an annotation aims to show the significance, correctness, and credibility of the sources cited.


Annotations may be in the form of a summary or evaluative. Summary annotations provide brief details and are descriptive. It covers data such as an author's name, the book's context, year of publication, and the publishers’ name. On the other hand, an evaluative annotation aims to provide in-depth information about the information source, such as its relevance to society. It may also include a thesis statement that gives an overview of the study. Whichever form of annotation you choose to use, ensure that you can justify choosing that specific source, and the source is credible.

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