How to Write an Annotated Bibliography for Children's Literature

An annotated bibliography is a research assignment often used to collect source material. It is not a complete paper unto itself, as annotated bibliographies do not employ thesis statements or the typical paper structure required by the Modern Language Association (MLA). Annotated bibliographies often resemble an expanded version of a paper's works cited page, where each citation is followed by a descriptive paragraph summarizing the source. Under MLA rules, an annotated bibliography is standard and doesn't change with the subject matter.

Gather the works of children's literature you wish to catalog.

Alphabetize the books by author's last name.

Start at the top of the stack. Write out a bibliographic citation for the book. Include the author's name, title (in italics), "Illustrated by" illustrator's name, place of publication, publisher and year.

Example: Pancake, Milton. Superdogs of Cabell County. Illustrated by Breece Johnson. New York City: Not a Real Press, 2010.

Write out a descriptive summation of the book. Be sure to describe all the characters, themes and issues. Evaluate each book as well. How does it fit into the research being conducted? What connects this particular book to others in the bibliography?

Move on to the next book, and repeat the process until finished.

Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.