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Annotated Bibliography

Core Concept

The annotated bibliography lists sources used (works cited), followed by a short paragraph summarizing the source material. Some professors ask for a content summary only; others want a content summary and an evaluation of the source. Still others expect you to explain how you plan to use the source in your paper. Be sure to check your assignment sheet for your professor’s specific requirements.

Many thanks to Matt LaPlant, an ENG 102 student at Meramec, who granted us permission to use his two examples below, which are content summary only.

Thesis Statement: The separation of church and state is a vital part of our country’s success, but the understanding and application of it must be clarified.

Content Summary Examples

Morrow, Lance. “God Knows What the Court Was Thinking.” Time, vol. 160, no. 2, 7 Aug. 2002, p. 96. Academic Search Elite, ezproxy.stlcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=6902899&site=ehost-live. Accessed 4 Nov. 2002.

The author explains how the Pledge of Allegiance is a part of our American culture and should not be thought of as a hidden religious agenda, but more as a vague reassurance of a collective goodwill. They discuss how the separation of church and state should remain in place but needs to be carefully watched. They also state that removing the portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that says “under God” would be pointless.

“Pledging a Fight.” Current Events, vol. 102, no.1, 9 June 2002, pp. 1-3. Academic Search Elite. http://ezproxy.stlcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=7375430&site=ehost-live. Accessed 4 Nov. 2002.

The author is reporting on the different controversies our country has faced with the misunderstandings of the idea of separation of church and state. The article explains the most recent case in California, where a person did not want his daughter being “forced” to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school. The controversy lies at the point where the pledge states “under God.” The author also reports on the reactions of American school officials after the ruling in this case.

Summary, Evaluation, and Usefulness of Source

The example below includes a brief summary of source, evaluation, and whether the source will be useful for the student’s paper.

Chokshi, Niraj. “Two Texas Students Sue Schools to Freely Protest the Pledge.” The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/us/student-pledge-protest.html.

The author reports that two students who sat during the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance are suing their high schools, claiming they were shamed or punished for their protests. They argue the treatment they received violates their constitutional rights. The article is printed in The New York Times, lending credibility. In addition, Chokshi has previously reported on politics and policy for The Washington Post and has written for The Atlantic. He presents supporting details and quotes from the students and lawyer. The article would be more effective if it had included comments from the school districts; however, one school denied the claims and the other refused to comment. I will use this article because it is recent and cites two concrete examples of how the separation of church and state continues to be a controversial issue.


Learn more about the MLA Works Cited page by reviewing this handout.

Learn more about doing MLA in-text citations by reviewing this handout.

Learn more about the APA References page by reviewing this handout.

Learn more about doing APA in-text citations by reviewing this handout.


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