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Grading the Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography will be your final project for the semester and will be graded against several different benchmarks, some dealing with content and others with appearance/user-friendliness. This page will explain the content aspect first; later information about technology, appearance, and checklist requirements will be added.

First, the content:

Each annotated bibliographical entry (ABE) will be graded separately. You will write 23 in all. The first five will be graded against benchmark 2.15, which emphasizes the use of “a wide-ranging and appropriately sophisticated vocabulary.” This means that your entries have:

  • effective verbs (from the verb list or beyond) used correctly
  • no unnecessary wordiness (such as “very pretty” instead of “beautiful” or “extremely smart” rather than “intelligent”)– in other words, well-chosen words that are precise and concise
  • little or no there is/are/was/were
  • little or no passive voice.

Annotated bibliographical entries six through twelve will be graded against benchmark 6.35, which requires you to demonstrate your understanding of  “thought and feeling in text, including subtleties,” and require you to “incoroporate insightful and creative ideas.”  This means that each ABE must have the following features:


  • tells the main events or main ideas only; no unimportant details or “spoilers”
  • main problem or description of main ideas and structure
  • Click here to read some summary-writing tips
  • Click here to view a document with summary-writing tips

Questions to consider when revising your summary:

  • Is it concise, accurate, and thorough?
  • Did you avoid giving away the ending?


  • states the author’s generalization or observations about life, human nature, the world (note: you don’t necessarily have to agree with this generalization), specifically as it relates to your “big topic”
  • connections/similarities/contrasts with other literary works in your collection
  • Click here to see some sentence starters for talking about theme
  • Click here to read a short explanation of theme
  • Click here to read a list of common literary themes

Questions to consider when revising your theme comments:

  • Have you focused on the author’s perspective/opinion regarding your “big topic”?
  • Is the theme clearly expressed with accurate language and the uses of comparisons when possible?


  • literary devices or comments on the rhetorical features that we’ve studied (ie syntax, diction, imagery, tone); comments on how these devices/features contribute to the theme or overall enjoyment of the piece
  • application of what you’ve learned from class activities, discussion, websites, and handouts.

Questions to consider when revising your collection-worthy comments:

  • Are specific devices/features mentioned and supported with examples?
  • Did you take time to explain how/why those features affect the reader or add to the piece?
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