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Annotated Bibliography & Research Essay

Annotated Bibliography & Research Essay


The Annotated Bibliography is an assignment that keeps track of your research for the research essay due afterwards. These assignments work together on the same topic. Your first step is to choose a course reading as your primary source. Then decide what you would like to research in connection with it. You could choose to simply read more literature by the same author. This additional literature would be secondary source material, and your essay would end up being about the author’s writings (for example, theme, style, techniques, imagery, symbolism, character or setting). Another option would be to research what literary critics have written about the literary work covered in the course. Another alternative would be to research a contextual topic that comes up in a work, such as Marquez’s Columbia, Orwell’s Burma or British imperialism, or Langston Hughes’ depiction of race in America. You can choose to research any context that interests you; it could be literary, historical, environmental, educational, political, or psychological, for example.


The Annotated Bibliography’s purpose is to collect, list and summarize sources for your Research Essay. Your sources must include a primary source from The Mercury Reader and at least one secondary source found through your research outside of our textbook.


  • List primary and secondary sources (to be used for the Research Essay) in alphabetical order, each source in an MLA style citation (see below examples)
  • Summarize each source in a paragraph. Don’t use quotations; use your own words
  • Sources are to be used later in the Works Cited of your Research Essay (whether or not you decide to change them as you work on your research essay)


The below example is for an Annotated Bibliography due in week 10 (followed by a Research essay due in week 11) on an author’s writings. Of course, you can choose the other option – to develop Research on a contextual topic that you define from a course writing.

Annotated Bibliography


Bishop, Elizabeth. “The Fish,” The Mercury Reader. Boston: Pearson, 2015.


-summarize it in a single-spaced paragraph of your own words (no quotations)



Bishop, Elizabeth. Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011.


-summarize it in a paragraph



Last Updated on March 24, 2018

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