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EL3050: Post Colonial Narratives Guide: Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of published literature where each citation is followed by a brief annotation. The annotation describes the contents and purpose of the book or article and should inform the reader of its relevance, accuracy, and quality.

Step 1: Understanding your the topic

Get a good overview or understanding of your topic
Use a number of good reference sources such as topical dictionaries and encyclopedias to get a handle on your topic, and perhaps identify the "classic" books and articles covering the subject. Ask for help in identifying good sources at the Infohelp Desk.


Take a look at a good encyclopedia, especially one that concentrates on the subject area of your topic. Go to the Reference shelves in the Library, or take a look at Credo our online, full text, reference library which includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations, as well as subject specific titles from the humanities.

Step 2: Finding sources

A. To find books and book chapters you have identified through your reading in step 1, search the Author or Title of each book in One Search. Refine your search by Content Type to limit results to only books and book chapters. To only return online books and book chapters, you also need to refine by Available online.

B. To find journal articles select an appropriate database, e.g. MLA and AustLit. Search for your topic with a variety of keywords/


If you have any trouble finding articles or books on your topic, ask for help from the Library. Connect with us at InfoHelp  in your Library, use the Library's Chat service, or make a one-on-one appointment with your librarian.  

Step 3: Review your selected resources

Make sure you have selected texts that touch on your selected key issue or the primary text/s. Read them and keep your annotated bibliography instructions in mind:

  1. Summarise (see step 4) 
  2. Discuss (see step 4)
  3. Provide a screen shot of at least one information source from MLA or Austlit databases.

Step 4: Writing your annotations

Each annotation should refer to the same key issue, As well as identifying the resource, and:

  1. Summarise an information source adequately but briefly - one paragraph (or two at the most)
  2. Discuss the connection between this source and your primary text - one paragraph (two at most).
    • How will this source help you discuss the primary text in terms of the key issue?  
    • Evaluate its usefulness to a potential essay on the key issue of your choosing. That is, what are its major points about the relationship between post-colonial theory and literature and the key issue of your choosing? 

You will be assessed on criteria such as:

  • Relevance of the resources you annotate;
  • How incisive and critically reflective your annotations are;
  • Connections you draw between the points of your resource and texts discussed so far; and
  • On accuracy.

Your bibliography should follow the format outlined in the MLA Style Guide.

Step 5: Review

A. Read your annotations. Do they address the questions on your topic?

B. Is your spellingpunctuation and grammar correct?

C. Are your citations in the correct format following the MLA style?

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