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A Virtual Exploration of the Americas (MFA session)

This guide will help us focus on the resources available to MFA Creative Writing candidates. Its purpose is to enrich the MFA experience.

Encounters' List (Annotated Bibliography) Overview

The MFA Program requires an Annotated Bibliography, although it is called an "Encounters List" to encourage creative research and allow participants and professors to see the evolution of your final project.

Annotated bibliographies can be helpful in organizing your sources once you have read through them, and determined it they will work for your project or not. 

A good annotated bibliography: 

  1. encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas.
  2. proves you have read and understand your sources.
  3. establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher.
  4. situates your study and topic in a continuing professional conversation.
  5. provides a way for others to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research if they read it.
  6. could help interested researchers determine whether they are interested in a topic by providing background information and an idea of the kind of work going on in a field. 

Annotated Bibliography Resources

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (bibliography) that includes comments about each source. These comments are called annotations

What do students get out of an annotated bibliography assignment?

  • An early start on a research assignment
  • Experience with library research and with citing sources
  • Practice in evaluating sources and thinking about how those sources fit into their research project
  • Feedback from the professor about the topic, research question, and citations 

How to write an annotated bibliography:

  1. Find sources related to your topic (check with your instructor to confirm which types of sources are acceptable for the assignment)
  2. Critically read and evaluate sources
  3. Create the proper citation
  4. Below the citation write your annotation

An annotation (found below each citation) typically includes*:

  • An evaluation of the work - the value of the evidence, the logic of arguments, etc.
  • A description of the arguments or findings in the source
  • The qualifications/credibility of the author(s) or publishing source
  • How the source will support your argument or thesis

*Check with your instructors to confirm what information they require in an annotation. 

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.