ENG1102 Troy University Marriage Theme Annotated Bibliography


Submit a 750-1000 word annotated bibliography of the selected sources you will use to writeEssay #6 (your annotated bibliography will include a short story and a poem from the Backpack Literature textbook and four essays and/or articles from the TROY Library databases). List your six sources in alphabetical order, according to author’s last name. Include all information required by the MLA style for each citation.


A bibliography is usually thought of as an alphabetical listing of books at the end of a written work (essay or article, book, book chapter, etc.), to which the author referred during the research and writing process. In addition to books and articles, bibliographies can include sources such as reviews, reports, interviews, or even non-print resources like Web sites, video or audio recordings. Because they may include such varied resources, bibliographies are also referred to as “Works Cited” or “Works Consulted” (the latter can include those titles that merely contributed to research, but were not specifically cited in text). The standard bibliography details the citation information of the consulted sources: author(s), title, date of publication, and publisher’s name and location (and for articles: journal title, volume, issue, and page numbers). The primary function of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in finding the sources used in the writing of a work.

To these basic citations, the annotated bibliography adds descriptive and evaluative comments (i.e., an annotation), assessing the nature and value of the cited works. The addition of commentary provides the future reader or researcher essential critical information and a foundation for further research. Composing an annotated bibliography in the draft stage of a project also helps a writer identify and assess the sources s/he is working with. Be sure to include a statement detailing how the source is useful to your research and how the source will be used in your completed essay.


While an annotation can be as short as one sentence, the average entry in an annotated bibliography consists of a work’s citation information followed by a short paragraph, roughly 100-150 words in length, which should include brief and selective direct quotes. The annotated bibliography is compiled by:

  • Considering scope: For this assignment, you are required to include the six sources you are using to write Essay #6, which includes primary sources — a short story and a poem, and four secondary sources — the essays/articles you research in the TROY Library databases.
  • Devising a research strategy, conducting a search for the sources, and retrieving them.
  • Evaluating retrieved sources by reading them and noting your findings and impressions
  • Once a final group of sources has been selected, give the full citation data (according to MLA bibliographic style; see your Writer’s Reference textbook) and write an annotation for each source; do not list a source more than once

Annotations begin on the line following the citation data and may be composed with complete sentences or as verb phrases (the cited work being understood as the subject). The annotation should include most, if not all, of the following:

  • Identify the author’s thesis
  • Brief description of the work’s format and content
  • Theoretical basis and currency of the author’s argument or subject/theme
  • Value and significance of the work as a contribution to the subject under consideration
  • Possible shortcomings or bias in the work
  • Any significant special features of the work (e.g., glossary, appendices, particularly good index)
  • Your own brief impression of the work
  • How the source is valuable to your research and how it will be used in your completed essay


Not to be confused with the abstract—which merely gives a summary of the main points of a work—the annotated bibliography always describes and evaluates those points.

Example (MLA format)

Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. “Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations

among Young Adults.” American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamilyliving. The data has led me to research similar studies and add additional perspectives to my thesis claiming that the literary story challenges traditional sex roles. I will use this data in my essay to show contrasting sex roles attitudes over a period of several decades.

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