The Annotated Bibliography CC

By: SNHU Graduate History

SPEAKER: Well, hello. And welcome to our webinar focusing on the annotated bibliography. And as we start to focus on this concept, the annotated bibliography in our time together, we just want to kind of keep in mind its role in the research process and how it is designed to assist you as you move through that process. And those are ideas that we're going to look at tonight in our time together. And the two objectives that I've identified for this particular topic on the annotated bibliography will be to identify what an annotated bibliography is, and then identify the components of the same bibliography. So as we begin our focus on the annotated bibliography, what is it? Well, at the most basic level, it is nothing more than a list of sources. It provides support for the thesis of whatever your work is, and it also allows you to provide an analysis of your potential sources.

So when we think about this concept of the annotated bibliography, we want to keep it in its most basic level. And that is where I reference back to that concept of the list of sources. And this is why we also reference it-- we'll touch on this here in a few minutes as well-- that it is a working document as you move through that research process. Now there are a couple of key components of the annotated bibliography outside of just being a basic list of sources. For example, you will want to reference the topic when you are completing your annotated bibliography.

You will also want to include a thesis statement so that the reader of the bibliography has a solid understanding of your thesis, so they know the direction of your research, and they also are clear as to where you are headed with both your research, the sources that are utilizing, and how you were going to take those next steps within the writing process. Now, when we talk about the thesis, we want to keep a couple things in mind. If you're doing research paper, that is going to be your overall statement regarding the direction, the focus of your research. If it is a research proposal, that will center around your research question. However, again, in the annotated bibliography, you will provide the thesis, which is that definitive statement of what you're going to accomplish. And when you include that thesis, you want to put that at the very top of the bibliography so that the reader reads that first, and then they move into your sources. You will also want to make sure that each source that you've identified on the bibliography has a bibliographic citation.

And this is twofold-- first of all, you want to make sure that it's present for the reader so that they have the ability to access that source if they so desire. But secondly, it's much more important for you, as the researcher, to have the ability to go back and find that source. There's nothing more discouraging in the research process than having that perfect source, that you've identified it, and then you can't find it again because you did not have all the bibliographic information. So make sure that you do put that full bibliographic citation on the annotated bibliography. And you can consult chapter 17 in Turabian for the appropriate formatting of that source. You will then include an annotation for each of the sources that are identified. So we'll talk about the annotation here in a second. But I just want to focus on how this should be laid out as it relates to a document.

The Annotated Bibliography CC

Well, focusing on the components again, you're going to start with the thesis at the very top of your work. Then you're going to provide the full bibliographic citation of the source that you're referencing first. So if you have more than one source, you'll provide a bibliographic citation, and then you'll add the annotation. Once you have the whole annotation, you will then place another bibliographic citation followed by the annotation. So it's a very organized document. And this is where it does differ from just your standard bibliography in the work.

So now that we talked about an annotation, what is it? Well, an annotation is basically a summary of the source. It's a descriptive source summary. In this particular annotation, you're going to provide the author's point of view.

You're going to highlight from which perspective they're writing. That's going to be very important within your research work. You're going to qualify the author. What is their background, and why are they writing or qualified to write on the particular topic that you're completing research? You will then highlight the argument of the source. Because remember, in historic research, everybody is making an argument. So the author of your particular source is also making an argument.

What is it? You will also identify the conclusion of the author as it relates to their overall work. You will provide the strengths and weaknesses of the source. And then you will highlight how it relates to the other sources within your overall research. These are very, very important elements of the annotation.

If you remove these elements of the annotation, then your invitation is lacking in detail. And what is important to note is the fact that this is not necessarily a long annotation. You're going to be concise, and you're going to be direct to the point. Because what you're not doing in your annotation is you're not providing a full book review of each secondary source. You're providing that descriptive source summary of what the work is, why you're utilizing it, and the author's thoughts on it. And within those elements, that's where you're going to get the argument, the conclusion, its strengths, and its weaknesses.

And when we look at an annotation, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind, that the source, itself, as it relates to the annotated bibliography, helps you keep your thoughts in order, OK? Because as you're going through the research process, you're going to be looking at sources. And you're going to be determining whether or not that source needs to be utilized within your work. Well, the annotated bibliography, as that working document, allows you to keep your thoughts in order. It's an organizational element to assist you.

It also makes sure that you know why the source is useful to you, OK? And that's important to note. Because sometimes we identify sources, as we're going through the research process, and then, all of a sudden, well, I don't know that I need that source now. Or why advice like that source again? What was I thinking at that time? And then you can make the determination, well, no. Now, I don't need that source. And it's also a guide.

It's going to help you keep your research in order. So keep those important elements in mind when we focus on the purpose of the annotated bibliography and, ultimately, why we do an annotated bibliography. Now we talk about an annotation and what we're looking at. This is what we are focusing on. And this is also a nice layout of what the annotated bibliography would look like. Now, this we start with the bibliographic citation, as a referenced, and then we go into the annotation. And this is just a brief sample of the annotation. And we do want to focus on whether or not this meets the requirements that are listed in the rubric.

If the rubric as calling for a particular element to be included, do make sure that it is present. So in this particular annotation, we have a focus on a thorough examination, very descriptive words that give us our focus of the overall source, talks about the author's relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts. Why are these ideas important to note? Because this is very descriptive to what this particular source includes.

Now, whether or not this meets the requirements that are listed in the rubric for your particular assignment, that is something that you'll want to review before you go ahead and ultimately submit your work. Because as I referenced, we do need to make sure that we have the strengths and weaknesses of each source, the way in which the source relates to those other sources that you'll be utilizing, and all those key elements as to why it is useful to your overall research. So provide it as an example, but at the same time, do make sure that you are meeting all the rubric requirements for your particular assignment. Now, when we talk about an annotated bibliography, and we talk about sources, but it's very important to also identify what is a source that could be included on an annotated bibliography. Well, first, we are only utilizing secondary sources on the annotated bibliography. Primary sources, themselves, are not placed on the annotated bibliography. Secondary sources only.

Now, what type of sources are we considering as secondary sources? Well, journal articles, those that you might locate on J-STOR, and those that you might locate on Google Scholar. The secondary sources that you might find within the databases at Shapiro Library. Those are all relevant to your overall research.

Books are also to be included on the annotated bibliography because they are secondary sources as well. So your sources as I referenced are secondary, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you have a variety related to the different genres that are present. Those are very, very important to note-- secondary sources only and a variety of secondary sources as well.

A couple of basic grammar tips that I do like to reference as it relates to any type of writing activity-- make sure you proofread your work before you submit. Avoid wordiness. This is very, very important because, as I referenced in developing the annotations, we're not doing a book review for each particular source. However, we are being very straight and to the point as it relates to the source's usefulness, its strengths and weaknesses, and of all those elements that I referenced a few minutes ago. So make sure that we have appropriate sentence structure and are maintaining the appropriate voice within an our annotations that are clear and direct to the point.

I do want to provide an additional resource for you. This link is a live link that you can click on. And it does contain some examples of annotated bibliographies from the Purdue OWL website. So you can go ahead take a look at those just to get a few ideas as to what they look like and the format. And again, we do want to keep our focus on the role of the annotated bibliography to the research process as it relates to that working document that allows you to stay organized. And when you look at these examples, keep those ideas in mind. And it will also help you as you develop the ideas related to your particular annotated bibliography.

With that said, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to view this webinar. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your instructor or post your questions in the Learning Community. We are more than happy to assist. Have a wonderful day. Thank you.

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