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Sample Informative/Descriptive Annotation 

An Informative/descriptive annotation describes the content of the work without judging it. It does point out distinctive features.

      London, Herbert. "Five Myths of the Television Age." Television Quarterly 
          10(1) Spring 1982: 81-89.

     Herbert London, the Dean of Journalism at New York University and author of several books and articles, explains how television contradicts five commonly believed ideas. He uses specific examples of events seen on television, such as the assassination of John Kennedy, to illustrate his points. His examples have been selected to contradict such truisms as: "seeing is believing"; "a picture is worth a thousand words"; and "satisfaction is its own reward." London uses logical arguments to support his ideas which are his personal opinion. He doesn't refer to any previous works on the topic. London's style and vocabulary would make the article of interest to any reader.

 More examples:

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/rules6e/latest/lmcontent/ch07/PDF/Hacker-Orlov-MLA-Biblio.pdf

What the annotation includes

Generally, annotations should be no more than 150 words (or 4-6 sentences long). They should be concise and well-written. Depending on your assignment, annotations may include some or all of the following information:

  • Main focus or purpose of the work
  • Intended audience for the work
  • Usefulness or relevance to your research topic (or why it did not meet your expectations)
  • Special features of the work that were unique or helpful
  • Background and credibility of the author
  • Conclusions or observations reached by the author
  • Conclusions or observations reached by you

Rules! Rules! Rules!

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers states the following formatting rules:

  • The text and the works cited list should be double-spaced.
  • Number your pages at the top right of the page.
  • Reference list entries must have a hanging indent (to do this in Microsoft Word 2003, select the citation, click Format, then Paragraph, then Special, and choose Hanging).
  • There should be 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins all around (top, bottom, left, and right) on each page.
  • Use Times Roman font, or a similar serif font.
  • Capitalize each important word (noun or verb) in a book or article title
  • Each paragraph should be indented.

 

Description and purpose of an annotated bibliography

  • A bibliography, sometimes referred to as References or Works Cited, is an organized list of sources (e.g., books, journal/magazine articles, Web sites, etc.) consulted in the research process.
  • Each source in the bibliography is represented by a citation that includes the author (if given), title, and publication details of the source.
  • An annotated bibliography is a bibliography with an additional description or evaluation (i.e., annotation) of each source.

Purpose

The purpose of the annotation is to help the reader evaluate whether the work cited is relevant to a specific research topic or line of inquiry.

Annotations versus abstracts

Abstracts

Abstracts are brief statements that present the main points of the original work. They normally do not include an evaluation of the work itself.

Annotations

Annotations could be descriptive or evaluative, or a combination of both. A descriptive annotation summarizes the scope and content of a work whereas an evaluative annotation provides critical comment.
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