Annotation Guildelines


An annotation is a short statement in which you summarize and assess the validity of a secondary, scholarly source you plan to use in your research. To write an annotation, complete the following:

  • 1. Cite the source in MLA
  • 2. Write 2-3 sentences that give a broad overview of the argument, aims, and/or scope of the article or chapter: what are the main claims/goals, what are the key terms, what’s the context?
  • 3. Write 2-3 sentences explain the main mode of inquiry and/or evidence the author uses to achieve her main claim/goal.  
  • 4. Write 1-2 assess the validity of the source. Did the author accomplish the goal he set out for himself? You’ve already stated the main claim/goal and the evidence/methods the author uses to achieve that goal, so now assess the article’s success. 
  • 5. Write 1-2 How will you use this article/chapter in your own work? Authors use secondary literature in a variety of ways: define and/or complicate key terms/ideas; provide social or historical context; build on and add to ideas that have already been published–“joining the conversation.” 


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