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Visual Art Research Resources: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY


Annotated bibliographies have 2 parts: 

1) The complete citation for the source in MLA format

2) A 2-3 sentence annotation or explanation of the value of this source: what information it covered, and who or what organization created it.  The last sentence will state why you chose this source above all the others on your topic for research for this project - what specific information did it include that other sources did not contain?

Teachers and professors in college often require students to prepare an annotated bibliographies as an assignment.  WHY?  These short bibliographies help the instructors determine if the students have reviewed a variety of sources and can evaluate them for quality and authority.

Purdue OWL's definition/explanation of Annotated Bibliographies



2-3 Sentences Only!

The first sentence of an annotation will tell the reader what the book, web site, database article covered.  Look at the table of contents in a book to see what topics/information the author was focusing on in creating the entire work.  For web sites - look at the tabs or links for clues as to the info covered on the site. This information is often given in list form.

The second sentence will identify the author/webmaster or organization that is responsible for the publication of this source. 

The third sentence will state how & why this source was particularly helpful to your project.  Often this sentence will state that it was the best source or only source that provided a certain type of information.


1) Open Draft Annotated Bibliography document (citations saved for favorite sources)

2) Copy  citations (database articles) or create citations (web sites); make sure each citation is in MLA 7th Ed. Format (consult Purdue OWL !)

3) Write the annotation for each source (3 sentences)


SAMPLE: Annotated Bibliography

"Marcel Duchamp." MOMA PS1. The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Web. 29 Jan. 2012.

The Museum of Modern Art's web site is a vast one that not only includes information about museum hours, directions, memberships, & library resources, but it also includes much information about the current and past exhibitions and pieces in their collections.  The web page and images on Marcel Ducham contained more than 20 of his early sketches, paintings and a great variety of the styles that he experimented with throughout his career.  The number of images and the links that the web page provided to biographical information about Duchamp and his important works exposed me to many more aspects of his personal goals as an artist.


Duchamp, Marcel, and José M. Faerna. Duchamp. New York: Cameo/Abrams, 1996. Print.

This book is includes the life story of Marcel Duchamp, more than 60 full color prints of his work, and it also has a 30 page chapter on his place in the artistic movements of the 20th century.  The full-page, color prints of Duchamp's paintings found in this book were of very high quality, and I decided to use copies of the paintings Brunette in a Green Blouse and Chocolate Grinder for my poster because they are great examples of the variety of the styles he used.