Annotated Bibliography Assignment

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Purpose: Locating and reading relevant sources is the first step to writing an analytical paper, and this assignment will serve as a prelude to your writing. You must locate and annotate five (5) sources relevant to your essay topic. These sources must be the most pertinent research. The topic is Inequality and Criminal Justice. It is not sufficient to annotate 5 sources – they must be the most relevant ones for your topic. A list of essay topics is included below. By locating, reading, and annotating your sources you will position yourself to construct a solid analytical argument for your essay. You are also required to develop a brief outline or argument for your essay after completing your annotations.


Topic: This topic examines the intersection between inequality and criminal justice. Inequality can be inequality of class, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and so on. Criminal justice refers to the intersection of one of these topics with some elements of the criminal justice system, such as police, courts, sentencing, corrections, parole, and so on. You should focus on ONE topic (for example, race and sentencing).


  1. Sources should be scholarly, peer-reviewed journals or book chapters (research reports from government websites are also acceptable). No other source (i.e. media, webpages, etc.) will be accepted for this assignment.
  2. Your goal is to annotate the relevant information and explain how the source contributes to your overall paper.
  3. Sources can be directly related to your essay topic.


  1. A cover page.
  2. A statement about your essay topic and analytical argument. This is a summary of your proposed paper topic and your proposed argument.
  3. The full citation of the article, book chapter, or report in alphabetical order. You must write the citation, and then begin writing your annotation under it.
  4. An annotation of the source, including:
    1. What is the source about?
    2. What is the author(s) main argument or research question?
    3. What are the relevant findings and conclusions?
    4. A statement of how this source applies to your specific essay.

Format: Each entry should be one page in length, so you must be very concise in your summary of the source. This assignment tests your ability to accurately summarize the contents of a source and to relay this information concisely. It is expected that the assignment will be 7 pages in total (cover page + a statement of your argument + 5 pages of annotation). It must be 12 font double-spaced, 1 inch margins. Failure to adhere to these parameters will result in a 5% per infraction penalty. Don’t get creative with the font, margins, or spacing.

Citation Format: ASA (American Sociological Association).

Evaluation: Entries will be scored on their relevance, accuracy, brevity, clarity, and style. See the grading rubric at the end of this document. This assignment is worth 15% of your final grade.


Resources: UTM SOC/CRIM citation guide for ASA format:

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