Writing an Annotated Bibliography RHET 201 Spring 2011
A list of citations to books, articles, and documents related to a research question. • Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. • The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?
A Clearly stated research question • MLA Citation Format • A minimum of 8 sources • A minimum of 5 scholarly sources (books or articles) • The other 3 can be from newspapers, magazines, interviews etc. • Each annotation should be no less than about 200 words Requirements
First: Locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. • Briefly examine and review the actual items. • Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic. • Cite the book, article, or document using MLA style. Process
Write a concise annotation that • 1. Summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. 2. Evaluates the authority or background of the author 3. Comments on the intended audience 4. Compares or contrasts this work with another you have cited 5. Explains how this work illuminates your bibliography topic. Process
See: • How to Critically appraise information sources • http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/skill26.htm How to analyze sources
Waite, Linda J., Frances KobrinGoldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print. • The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living. Sample
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2001. Set in the late 1990’ this book of nonfiction sets out to investigate the impact of the 1996 welfare reform on the "working poor" in the United States. It is based on the journalist's experiential research, as the author, BarbabraEhrenreich, attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Wal-Mart sales employee, the author documents, summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation. These experiences serve as the basis for the implicit argument that it is nearly impossible for minimum wage workers in America to maintain a decent standard of living. An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched. In the end she concludes that someday, low-wage workers will rise up and demand to be treated fairly, and when that day comes everyone will be better off. Ehrenreich later wrote a companion book, Bait and Switch (published September 2005), which discusses her attempt to find a white-collar job. Sample 2