A lot of people have never written an annotated bibliography before, especially a reflective annotated bibliography! This is here to help guide you if you get lost. Please think of it as a road map, not a cage– that is, don’t feel like you’re going to get in trouble if you don’t get the exact number of words in paragraph two of your source entry, for example.  This is here to help you know where to start and how to proceed if you feel lost!  

Intro (at least 300 words)

  • Introduce your question
  • Explain how you got interested in your question/ Why you are interested 
  • Explain what you expect to find in your research (a hypothesis)
  • Explain what you will do if you find something that doesn’t fit your hypothesis


Write this in paragraph format (1-3 paragraphs) 

Source Entries (at least 300 words each). You need FOUR! 


  • You will have 4 sources
  • You will have an entry for each source
  • Each source will be a different genre
  • At least 300 words each
  • Each entry will have all four parts (see below!)

How do I write a source entry?

Part 1:

The first part of your entry will be the “bibliographic entry.” This entry gives the publication information, author, date, title and so forth. There are many websites (like that can help you do this.  Here is one example:  

Fitzgerald, Jill. “Research on Revision in Writing” Review of Educational Research. 57.4 (Winter 1987): 481-506. 

Part 2: Summary and representative quotes (1 substantial paragraph)

In the second part of your entry, you will write a summary. This will be useful to you later, because it will give you the rundown of what you’ve read (just in case you forgot.) Your summary should convey what the author states in the article and not your opinions. Here is a good time to capture what you think are the author’s most important points, quoting directly if possible. It’s also a good time to make note of what data, facts and evidence the author uses to support their claims, and how they use this evidence to arrive at their conclusions.

Part 3: Reflection and rhetorical analysis (2-3 paragraphs)

In the third part of your entry, you will respond to the text you’ve read.  This is important, as it is where your voice comes in. Avoid simply agreeing or disagreeing with the author; explain your full reaction. You can quote particular sentences to which you are responding. What questions do you have? What don’t you understand? What other information do you need to look up to better understand this article? If you could say something to this author, what would you say? How does this document inform your research?

Also consider rhetorical factors here like the genre of the writing, the author’s credentials, and the publication venue. How do you feel the author’s writing style, awareness of audience and purpose (reason for writing), and choice of genre affect the meaning and credibility of the document?

Part 4:

Quotables. This last part doesn’t count toward your word count, but it will help you in Module 3.  Here, you will make note of at least one direct quote from the author that you feel really exemplifies the document’s claims or interpretations. Or, you might want to choose a sentence that you really agree with (or really disagree with) that you want to refer back to later. You don’t need to repeat something you’ve quoted earlier– this is just a place to take note of quotations you feel you may want to use later.  Put it in quotes– and don’t forget the page number (if applicable). 

Conclusion ( at least 400 words):

  • You will summarize what you found in your research
  • You will tell readers what surprised you, or how your understanding of your question deepened or changed. (Spoiler: if the answer is “not at all”, you did not do enough research.) 
  • You will explain why what you learned is important
  • You will explain who you think needs to know about it and why (Another spoiler: be specific!  The answer can not be “everyone.”  That is too big of an audience.  Narrow it down to who needs to hear about it first!) 

So, to clarify, your finished product will have:

  • Intro 
  • Source Entry 1
  • Source Entry 2 
  • Source Entry 3 
  • Source Entry 4
  • Conclusion