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Bibliographies

Works Cited or Reference Page

A list of works cited is attached on a separate sheet after the text of the document. In MLA form, that list is called a Works Cited Page. In some others it is known as a Reference Page. A Works Cited page includes only those sources cited in the document. As with the in-text citations, the format of this list varies by discipline. See Citing/Documenting Your Sources for your specific citation formatting style.

Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of books, articles and other sources of information that form the literature of a subject. A bibliography may include additional resources to those directly used in the paper.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography which includes brief notes about each entry. (To annotate means to add notes.)

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to provide your reader with a fairly complete list of relevant scholarly sources on a given topic. Each entry of an annotated bibliography provides full bibliographical information as well as commentary, generally 2-10 sentences, about each source. In a descriptive annotation the commentary summarizes the book or article and explains how the author addresses the topic. An evaluative annotation includes an evaluation of the quality of the information; in answering the question of how successfully the author achieved what he/she set out to do.

The key to a successful annotated bibliography is to be concise; since each entry's commentary is brief, you need to select the information carefully. Determine the source's central idea(s) and be concise in conveying that information. An entry to an annotated bibliography is not an appropriate time to go into great depth or detail. Primarily, you want to give the reader a general idea of what the source is about. This will require the ability both to determine what is central and to write about the ideas concisely and objectively.


Here is an example of a descriptive annotation:

Schechter, Harold. "Death and Resurrection of the King; Elements of Primitive Mythology and Ritual in 'Roger Malvin's Burial.'" English Language Notes 8 (1971): 201-05.

Working with Frazer's paradigm of the death and resurrection of the King motif in myth and ritual, Schechter sees Malvin as the dying king in Hawthorne's short story and Reuben as his successor. Reuben sacrifices Cyrus so that the curse of death-in-life can be removed. Thus, the tale becomes the imaginary fulfillment of the blessing of fertility (204).


Here is an example of an evaluative annotation of the same source:

Schechter, Harold. "Death and Resurrection of the King: Elements of Primitive Mythology and Ritual in Roger 'Malvin's Burial.'" English Language Notes 8 (1971): 201-05.

Though Schechter reorganizes the material in an interesting format, basically his study is a reiteration of Cassier's seminal argument in The Sacred and the Profane: Modern Myth Studies. Schechter's major contribution to the debate is his recognition that Reuben sacrifices Cyrus so that the curse of death-in-life can be removed. Schechter's attempt to put Cassier's argument in a Jungian context is intriguing but not quite successful, since he must ignore important elements in the story to do so.


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Revised: 07/11


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