Literature Review/Annotated Bibliography

(Total Value 10%)



Due Date:  8/8/11 by 11:59 p.m., in the D2L drop box, on the due date; if the drop box records a submission time of one minute late or more, the paper is one calendar-day late. Expect to lose 10% for each calendar day the paper is turned in late. Must be turned in as a MS Word DOC or DOCX file. Consult the syllabus for all turn-in requirements and associated penalties.



To make these guidelines easy to understand, I am going to use six sections, as follows:

  1. I tell you what an annotated bibliography is.
  2. I provide an example of an entry.
  3. The criteria to determine a valid source.
  4. The grading criteria.
  5. What you should do to get started.
  6. How to turn in this project.

Section 1: What is an annotated bibliography?

  • It is made up of 10 entries, and each entry has 2 parts:
  1. A MLA style citation.
  2. An annotation.
  • You will research 10 scholarly sources, meaning books, scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals, and a website; moreover, you must locate all ten through the Temple College Library interface. All ten scholarly sources can be on any combination of authors, poets, short stories, or poems, and then you will write an entry for each one. You may choose from any writer or work we have read or will read in the fiction, poetry, or drama genres of this course but all ten must come from only one genre. In effect, you could have ten sources, each with a very different focus. Pay close attention to section three of this assignment prompt: The Criteria That Determines a Valid Source.

Section 2: An example of an entry:


  • A citation provides the publishing information on your source.  It cites where the source was published, who wrote it, and a few other things you will learn about by working closely with the MLA Handbook.


The ones you write must be 100-150 words, which will include only the words in the annotation, not the citation.

  • An annotation is a short summary of your source, and it is also a critique of it. Simply put, your annotations do two things:
  1. Explain, or summarize, what the source is about, and the source’s thesis is summarized somewhere in your annotation.
  2. Evaluate why the source is a worthwhile one to read.

Your objective here is that anyone who reads your final work will understand the argument at stake in each of your sources.  They will also know the problems or solutions, if any, that the source proposes.  Finally, they will understand from your evaluation whether the source is of a superior nature or if they should go look for a different scholarly source on this subject. As an aside, if your annotation suggests that the source is of an inferior nature, such an analysis on your part would call into question why you decided to include the source in your project. I expect that you will find worthwhile sources.



Toal, Catherine. ‘"Some Things Which Could Never Have Happened": Fiction, Identification, and "Benito Cereno."’ Nineteenth-Century Literature  61.1 (2006): 32-65. Print.

Observing that Herman Melville's most significant fictional addition to his source text for "Benito Cereno" (the San Dominick's skeleton figurehead) reverses the terms of a trope used in the "Agatha" letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne of 13 August 1852, this article proposes that the skeleton's role in the tale converts a frustrated attempt at the identificatory lures involved in the processes of fiction-making and fiction-reading. Although there has been considerable focus on the narrative's manipulation of identification, critics have not provided an account of the ways in which its total fictional structure, organized around the skeleton figurehead, systematically alters the meaning of its white protagonists'—and its readers'—potential affiliations. It traces the functions and implications of "Benito Cereno"'s skeleton through an exploration of the tale's reception history, showing this history to be comprised of a series of identificatory maneuvers. Overall, this would be a difficult article to negotiate for someone new to literary studies.



  • The above example of an entry is from the abstract on the article itself, edited by me for the word count requirements of this project.
  • Notice that the example entry begins with the citation, the first line of which is flush to the left margin. However, the second line of the citation is formatted with a hanging indent. In MS Word you can right click anywhere in the document, choose “Paragraph,” and then under “Special,” change the option there from “none” to “hanging.”
  • The second part of the example entry is the annotation, and the word count is 154, which does not include the words in the citation. The entire annotation is flush to the left margin.
  • Your annotations must be 100 to 150 words for each annotation, which does not include the words in the citation.

Section 3: The criteria to determine what constitutes a valid source:

Your 10 sources MUST consist of the following:

  • 7 scholarly articles, which must be from peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
  • 2 books.
  • 1 website.

Do not vary from the above criteria or one or more of your sources may be invalid; for each invalid source you will lose 10%.

You cannot use newspapers, magazines, websites (with the exception of the one required website), or any web-related material that can be reached with just an Internet connection. In other words, you must use the TC Library interface to use databases to which the TC Library subscribes. If you work off campus you can access the materials by logging in to the Library from the TC homepage @ 

I suggest that you use JStor, for all their articles are available in PDF format. I want you to access your articles in PDF format—as opposed to HTML—as much as possible. Lecture 12 makes clear the differences in these two formats. Keep in mind that the citations—both in-text and works cited—are different, depending whether you access your sources in PDF or HTML.

Your 10 articles from peer-reviewed scholarly journals must have a works cited section at the end. Still, there may be no such section at the end, but the article might be footnoted throughout, which is also acceptable if the footnotes give the publication information that is typically found in a works cited page citation.

The upshot is that the sources you choose must engage sources from other scholars, and they should be documented as such.

The articles you choose must be at least four pages in length, or they will be considered invalid. The articles must also have a named author, by which I mean the name of a person or persons, as opposed to just the name of some organization. Articles without an author or authors’ names, or from anonymous sources, or that fail to negotiate the above criteria will be considered invalid and will earn no credit.

You must turn in paper copies of all ten of your sources. For scholarly articles, the entire article must be turned in: for websites, print the homepage of the website; for books, at least 10 pages from the section of the book you have engaged, or quoted from, or paraphrased from PLUS the front matter, which means the title page the copyright page, and the table of contents. For each copy of a source that is not turned in correctly, the source will be considered invalid, and will earn no credit.

Section 4: Grading Criteria:

  • You must have 10 entries.
  • Each entry is worth 10 points, making the entire project worth 100 points.
  • The citation portion of each entry is worth five points, and the annotation portion of each entry is worth five points.
  • For each citation error, you will lose one point.
  • Points may be deducted from the annotation for typos, poor phrasing, sentence level errors, and so on.
  • Remember to include a sentence in your annotation that evaluates the scholarly source you are writing about; if there is no evaluation you will lose two points.
  • Remember to give your project a two-part title, separated by a colon.
  • Just like a works cited page, the entries are organized alphabetically, by the authors’ last names. If you forget to do this, it would prove costly in terms of the grade this project can receive.

When turning in the paper copies of sources, they must be in some sort of well-organized container, such as a pocket folder or a portfolio, and each source must be individually stapled. Moreover, the ten sources must be in the same order as the entries in your Literature Review/Annotated Bibliography.

In short, do not turn in a disorganized collection of sources, or it could result in a penalty of up to 50% of the grade this Literature Review/Annotated Bibliography can receive. Be very careful about this.


Citation Tips:

When doing your research you will enter a query and view a results list from which you will choose an article by clicking on a link. Do not be so quick to click on the title of the article. If you have the option, click on the PDF link under the title of the article, or elsewhere on the page. PDF simply means that you will view the scanned pages from the actual journal; citing these types of articles is much easier. It is acceptable to click on “HTML Full Text,” when that is the only format available, but this is not the best format in which to access the source; moreover, if the article is available in PDF, yet you choose to access it in HTML, I would consider it a poor choice, which would impact the grade this project can receive. Finally, a project that consists of mainly or mostly HTML sources suggests that you have composed a project that is predominantly of an inferior nature. Factor all of these tips into the decisions you make regarding the sources you include in your project.

Work tirelessly with the MLA Handbook, for it is your best resource. Even so, as an example of secondary importance, there is handout “Examples of Common Works Cited Page Citations”; its two examples that are most pertinent are both titled “Example of an article in a journal”; one of those examples is for articles in PDF, and the other is for HTML. Make certain to choose the correct style.

Section 5: What you should do to get started:


Immediately do all the research in one session. Research and print out twelve to fifteen articles, and paper-clamp each one as it comes out of the printer, so as to stay organized. Use the Temple College Library Catalog to locate your book source, and then use the Internet to find a credible website from either a .EDU or .GOV site; do not use a .COM website or other types of domains. For example, if you are searching for Shakespeare on Google, you can limit your search to .EDU sites with the following search:


Shakespeare site:edu


Once you have completed the steps above, your research will be finished, so you will have ended the research process. You can then spend the remainder of your time crafting this project. Remember that there are highly-trained professionals at the Temple College Library who know more than you do, and they are ready and willing to assist you.


If you experience login difficulties with the Temple College Library website, use the instructions @, and if you continue to experience difficulties, contact Tech Support @ 254.298.8450.


For questions about how to use the Temple College Library website and find articles and books, contact them @ 254.298.8426, or use their Online Library Question Form.


Understand that there are many pitfalls associated with a project of this scope, and time-management is key to your success. Invariably, projects that do not receive a grade that is adequate or higher have a commonality: the students waited too long to get started, and/or they did not work closely enough with the course materials.


Section Six: How to Turn in This Project:

·       Upload a copy of the Annotated Bibliography to the appropriate D2L dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. on the due date to avoid late penalties.

·       On the due date, turn in paper copies of ALL ten sources used in your annotated bibliography, being careful to pay attention to previous class lectures on what constitutes a valid paper-copy-turn-in.

·       Incomplete paper-copy-turn-ins will negate the entire ten points possible for that source, even if you have written a complete corresponding entry in your annotated bibliography.

·       Organize your paper-copy-turn-ins in the same order in which they appear in your annotated bibliography.

·       Paper copies of sources must be in some sort of container, such as a pocket folder or a portfolio. It is a course requirement that you purchase some sort of container to turn in your sources.

·       Each source must be individually stapled.

·       Do not paper clamp the sources into a single stack, and do not elastic band them together.

·       Do not turn in the paper-copies of sources in something that binds them like a book.


Due Date:  8/8/11 by 11:59 p.m., in the D2L drop box, on the due date; if the drop box records a submission time of one minute late or more, the paper is one calendar-day late. Expect to lose 10% for each calendar day the paper is turned in late. Must be turned in as a MS Word DOC or DOCX file. Consult the syllabus for all turn-in requirements and associated penalties.