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WRT 101S - Desert Vista - Information Literacy Skills - Severson: Annotated Bibliography/Works Cited

Bibliography, Annotated Bibliography, Works Cited Page

What's a Bibliography?

Published June 7, 2017  (From

A bibliography is a list of all of the sources you have used (whether referenced or not) in the process of researching your work. In general, a bibliography should include:
  • the authors' names
  • the titles of the works
  • the names and locations of the companies that published your copies of the sources
  • the dates your copies were published
  • the page numbers of your sources (if they are part of multi-source volumes)

OK, So What's an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is the same as a bibliography with one important difference: in an annotated bibliography, the bibliographic information is followed by a brief description of the content, quality, and usefulness of the source.

OK, So How Is a Bibliography Different from a "Works Cited" or "References" List?

The Works Cited or References list is only comprised of references to those items actually cited in the paper.



Example: Annotated Bibliography Entry

Kotlowitz, Alex. "Sanctuary Cities Do Not Guarantee Safety for Immigrants." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 5 Nov. 2017. Originally published as "The Limits of Sanctuary Cities," The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2016.

Journalist Alex Kotlowitz queries whether undocumented immigrants can be protected from the federal government.  He traces the rise of sanctuary cities to Tucson, Arizona thirty-four years ago where the Pastor John Fife of the Southside Presbyterian Church offered refuge. While today's sanctuary cities share similar goals to the movement begun by John Fife, the kind of resistance is markedly different, now based on community resistance against local police and the federal government.  Mr. Kotlowitz concludes that there is a limit to the protection that a sanctuary city can offer, and he concludes by relating his recent conversation with the now retired Pastor John Fife.

Example: Works Cited Page


Work Cited (from the Purdue Owl)

Dean, Cornelia.  "Executive on a Mission:  Saving the Planet."  The New York Times, 22 May 2007.  Accessed 12 May 2016.   

Annotated Bibliography Defined

Definition: An annotated bibliography is a descriptive and evaluative alphabetical list of sources, cited in a uniform and proper citation format, and followed by an annotation.  They may include citations to books, journal/magazine articles, web sites, or other materials.

Annotation: An annotation is an analytical paragraph of approximately 100-200 words, or three to six sentences. It explains the main purpose and scope of the source, briefly describes format and content, and may also cover the author’s argument as well as his/her academic credentials. It may address the intended audience of the source, and its value and significance to the field of study. The limitations or bias of the source may be addressed along with the writer’s reaction to the source. It may also evaluate the research used in the source as well as the reliability of the source.

Formatting a Works Cited Page, MLA 8th

The Works Cited page is an alphabetical list of all the sources you cite in your paper. Every source you want to use in your paper must be listed on the works cited page.

Here are some basic rules to follow when creating your Works Cited page:

  • The Works Cited page should be placed at the end of your paper.
  • The Works Cited page should begin on a new page.
  • The Works Cited page should be double spaced and the second line of each entry should be a hanging indent. To get this in MS Word:
    • Select all text, and then right-click it.
    • From the pop-up menu, select Paragraph.
    • To double-space the text, under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Double.
    • To add a hanging indent, under Indentation, Special, select Hanging. This indents the lower lines of each entry 0.5” from the left.
  • Alphabetize each entry/reference on your Works Cited page by author’s last name, or if the author’s name is not given, by the title of the first work.
  • Your last name and page number should be at the top right corner of the page.