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ENG 337 Asian American Literature Class Guide

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is made up of two things: a bibliography and annotations.

  • bibliography is a list of sources concerning a particular research topic. These sources could be books, scholarly articles, films, etc. For the bibliography aspect of an annotated bibliography, you will create a citation that matches the 
  • An annotation is the notation that you add to the source citation. After you have taken the time to read through the source, the notation provides a space to add your own thoughts. Generally in an annotation you use the space to:
    • Summarize what the author is saying in their work
    • Assess whether the work illuminates your understanding of the topic and how it fits in with your other sources
    • Reflect on the role the citation has within your own argument

For more information on what an annotated bibliographies, visit Purdue OWL's page on annotated bibliographies.

Format for MLA Annotated Bibliographies

Once you have completed the citation, you'll want to add your annotation. Your citation should follow the hanging indent style that is found in all Reference lists, while your annotation should be in paragraph style and indented one inch to the left. Below find an example:

To complete the formatting above in Microsoft Word:

  • Select the text of your citations and right-click. Select "paragraph" and under the "Indentation" section, set "Special" to "Hanging."
  • Select the text of your annotations and hit the "tab" button on your computer.

If you have any questions about this formatting or any other aspect of creating an annotated bibliography, reach out to us at