Annotated Bibliography Entries

Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography includes a list of citations to books, articles, and documents (primary and secondary). Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph (the annotation), which provides a review of the literature on a particular subject. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited (RWU Library).
For each source you consult this semester for your research project, you will prepare an annotated bibliography entry.  As a class, we will practice this process with instructor-chosen readings about educational equity and diversity.   Then, as you locate your own sources for your research project in Joyner’s General and North Carolina Collections, you will repeat this process twelve or so times as you create an annotated bibliography.
The process of writing an annotated bibliography involves documenting, summarizing, evaluating, analyzing, synthesizing and creating– all higher order thinking skills.  Using peer and instructor feedback, you will revise your entries over the course of the semester to improve your academic writing skills.

Step 1: Cite

Document your source using American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines available in Appendix B of your Fieldworking textbook or use a citation machine such as Knightcite or EasyBib.  Always double check electronically-generated citations with a print or electronic handbook.

Example
Malwitz, R. (2010, August 27). College students bring cultural differences with Them. In My Central Jersey.com. Retrieved January 16, 2011, from http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100822/NEWS/100822007/College-freshmen-bring-cultural-differences-with-them

Step 2: Summarize

Summarize your source by stating the author’s thesis (main idea) and key points.  It my be helpful as a beginning researcher to use a sentence stem that begins with “The author(s)” and is followed by a rhetorically accurate verb such as “argues”, “illustrates”, “questions”, “reports”, “explores”, etc

Example

Malwitz explains the cultural differences in first-year students when constrasted with their professors.  He humorously discusses Beloit College’s list of popular media events, people and phrases, which is used to help college professors understand the age gap and cultural differences between them and their students.

Step 3: Evaluate

Evaluate your source by considering the relevance, author, purpose, publication information, evidence, author bias, etc.  Using information from the source and/or internet research, form an educated opinion about and write statements that addresses:

Relevance

  • Is this source useful?
  • Will the information in this source help to accomplish your purpose as a research?  If so, how? If not, why not?

This source highlights the increasing difference between older and younger generations and because this source includes first-hand perspectives, it lends credibility.  This source is interesting to me because I never thought of age difference as multi-culturalism.  Perhaps I could use this source to make a case for studying the subculture of non-traditional students at ECU.

Intended Audience (of work, not the Annotated Bibliography)

  • Determine the intended audience.
  • Is it intended for the general public, for scholars, policy makers, teachers, professionals, practitioners, etc.?
  • Is this reflected in the author’s style of writing or presentation?

This article is written for general public or anyone interested in what happens on college campuses.  The style is relaxed, informal and is meant to inform and entertain.

Author

  • Who is the author?  Are they qualified to write on the topic?
  • What is their affiliation?  Institution? Agency? Organization? Political Party?
  • What are the author’s biases and how they that affect the information, ideas? arguments?

Malwitz is a staff writer or journalist covering this piece.  He has no particular expertise on cultural competence.  No known affiliations exist other than employment with MyCentralJersey.com.

Author Bias

  • Determine if the author has a bias or makes assumptions upon which the rationale of the article or research rests.
  • What are the biases?

Because this is a general new story, author bias doesn’t really impact the piece.  However, he does present this story in a positive light which leads me to believe that he thinks this sort of bridging of cultural divides is useful.

Publisher

  • Who is the publisher?  What kind of material do they publish?  Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s mission statement?  What biases might exist? 

Mycentraljersey is an online news source, affiliated with Home News Tribune and Courier News, that features local, state and national news stories. Their mission statement is very simple and doesn’t indicate a bias or political affiliation.

Evidence

  • Is enough evidence offered?
  • What type of evidence is used?  Personal? Anecdotal? Quantitative? Qualitative?
  • Is the evidence used ethically?  Is it fair?  Is it clear?
  • Is it convincing?  Is it reasonably interpreted? Are alternate viewpoints addressed?
  • Do you know the origins of the evidence?  Is it carefully cited?

Malwitz offers anecdotal evidence to support the idea that a cultural divide exists.  He interviews and provides quotations from professors at various college campuses, but I think the article is a little biased because we don’t get to hear from students themselves.  Attributive tags are used to indicate what professors said, but there is little indication of other viewpoints or ways of thinking about the age divide.

Relate to Subject and Other Works (for individual research projects)

  • Explain how this work illuminates the bibliography topic. How is it useful?
  • Compare or contrast this work with another (or others) cited.
  • Is the work, or its date or view, out-of-date, yet a valid historical reference?
  • Describe “your” reaction to the item.

Example

Example Annotated Bibliography Entry

Malwitz, R. (2010, August 27). College students bring cultural differences with Them. In My Central Jersey.com. Retrieved January 16, 2011, from http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100822/NEWS/100822007/College-freshmen-bring-cultural-differences-with-them

Malwitz explains the cultural differences in first-year students when constrasted with their professors.  He humorously discusses Beloit College’s list of popular media events, people and phrases, which is used to help college professors understand the age gap and cultural differences between them and their students. This source highlights the increasing difference between older and younger generations and because this source includes first-hand perspectives, it lends credibility.  This source is interesting to me because I never thought of age difference as multi-culturalism.  Perhaps I could use this source to make a case for studying the subculture of non-traditional students at ECU.  This article is written for general public or anyone interested in what happens on college campuses.  The style is relaxed, informal and is meant to inform and entertain.  Malwitz is a staff writer or journalist covering this piece.  He has no particular expertise on cultural competence.  No known affiliations exist other than employment with MyCentralJersey.com.  Because this is a general new story, author bias doesn’t really impact the piece.  However, he does present this story in a positive light which leads me to believe that he thinks this sort of bridging of cultural divides is useful.  Mycentraljersey is an online news source, affiliated with Home News Tribune and Courier News, that features local, state and national news stories. Their mission statement is very simple and doesn’t indicate a bias or political affiliation.  Malwitz offers anecdotal evidence to support the idea that a cultural divide exists.  He interviews and provides quotations from professors at various college campuses, but I think the article is a little biased because we don’t get to hear from students themselves.  Attributive tags are used to indicate what professors said, but there is little indication of other viewpoints or ways of thinking about the age divide.

I expect your annotated bibliographies to be written following this guideline and include citation, summary and thorough evaluation.  Although there is no hard work count, and strong content is more important that volume, you should aim for 150-200 words.

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