Paper Two – Annotated Bibliography
Your goal: In 200-400 words, give an overview of your topic, research question, and a
tentative thesis. Then, for 3-4 of your sources, create a highly structured set of notes
(“annotations”) that help you understand each source. Annotations should be 150-250
Context: If done well, this paper will be a really useful resource as you write your
research paper. It gives you a chance to decide what you want to find out, how you might
find it out, and where you might find it out. The annotated bibliography will identify the
best sources you’ve found so far and think about how they might fit into your paper.
Audience: your professor – and yourself
test out a clear, specific, arguable thesis for your paper
evaluate sources for relevance and reliability
practice writing a good summary
read articles rhetorically
make connections to determine the ‘conversation’ on a topic
lay the groundwork for your researched argument paper
As you do an initial search for sources, remember to keep track of the publication details
for each source and download/copy any source that seems promising. Skim each source
to determine how useful it might be for your research project, then select the best, most
relevant, most substantive sources you find.
Take notes on all of the potentially useful sources you come across. Here’s a basic
template for notes:
• This source’s main point is _________.
• This source is credible because _________.
• This source is potentially crucial to my research because _________.
[MLA citation for source]
Use the following template to clarify the topic, question, and motivation for your
I have chosen to investigate______________________________ [a focused topic or sub-
topic related to technology] because I want to find out ________________________
[what do you want to know?] so that ______________________________ [who is your