Depending on what requirements to your research work are and what instructions you have, the information provided in your annotated bibliography may vary. However, the common components of a bibliography are the following:
- Description of the content. You need to provide a brief description of what the information source gives info about.
- Facts about the usefulness and relevance of the source that you used. You need to write down the reason that proves that the source made a significant contribution not only to the general are of your research subject, but also to your project specifically.
- Write what advantages and disadvantages the source has. Are there any weaknesses that you would like to mention?
- State the value of the general significance of the source, as well as its reliability. Here, you need to include the conclusions made by the author of the source and appropriate references, if possible.
- Show your personal reaction and attitude to the info source. Pay attention, this has to be a reaction to the research work, but not to the author himself.
As a rule, the purpose of a typical bibliography is to provide a deep, but narrow overview of the whole list of information sources mentioned in your project. However, the general purpose includes several additional purposes that you can find below:
- It has to provide a review of the information (including all the above-mentioned possible sources, such as books, articles, web-sites, etc.) in light of a certain subject of your research paper.
- It serves for demonstrating the high quality if your own project. You can benefit considerably from a good annotated bibliography because it shows your competence and intelligence in regard to the area of your research.
- It gives concrete examples of possible info sources that are available for usage.
- It usually describes a number of other important issues in regard to different issues that also can provoke your potential reader's interest.
- It shows how the subject of your research area may be explored additionally in case that a reader wants to continue his exploration.
An important characteristic of the MLA annotated bibliography is that it needs to be as coherent as possible. There has to be a logical line in each annotation that guides a reader through the research.