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The Annotated Bibliography

The Annotated Bibliography. AWR 201. What is a Bibliography? What is an Annotation?. A bibliography is a list of sources (e.g., books, articles) referred to in an academic paper

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The Annotated Bibliography

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  1. The Annotated Bibliography AWR 201

  2. What is a Bibliography?What is an Annotation? • A bibliography is a list of sources (e.g., books, articles) referred to in an academic paper • An annotation is a commentary that a reader makes after critically reading a source. It can include a summary of the source, the reader’s response, and/or questions/comments addressing the source’s clarity, purpose, or effectiveness.

  3. What is an Annotated Bibliography? • An Annotated Bibliography is a list of bibliographic citations that includes summary and response paragraphs for each source. • Its overall purpose is to support your study of a particular subject by providing a collection of succinct summaries and evaluations that will negate the need for re-reading a source.

  4. Where do I start? • Begin by critically reading the source. • View reading as an interactive process in which your interpretation of author’s words is influenced by your own knowledge and experiences. • Attempt to dialogue with the text by asking tough questions about its purpose, audience, language and content.

  5. Questions to ask about a source • Who is the author? His/her credentials? Biases? • Where was the source published? What type of publication is it? Who is the target audience? • What do I already know about the topic? Am I open to new ideas? • Why was the source written? What is its purpose? • What is the author’s thesis? Major supporting points or assertions?

  6. Questions to ask about a source • Did the author support his/her thesis/assertions? • Did the source achieve its purpose(s)? • Was the text well organized? • Were the supporting sources credible? • What new information or ideas do I accept or reject? • Did the source change my viewpoint on the topic?

  7. Writing the Annotation A good annotation contains: • A summary of the source = 1 paragraph • Your response to the source = 1 paragraph • You personal reaction • Your evaluation of its effectiveness • An interesting or meaningful quote or paraphrase • Questions connecting the source to your knowledge and experience with the topic.

  8. The Summary Paragraph • Begin by succinctly stating the source’s thesis and major points. • Describe/define key points and how they are connected or supported. • Recount any important findings or stated limitations of the source. • Only needs to be 3-5 grammatically correct sentences long.

  9. The Response Paragraph • Describe your reaction to the source as a whole. • Describe its relevance, accuracy, and/or quality • Document your response to the author’s ideas, argument, writing style, or other notable aspects. • Directly cite or paraphrase any interesting or meaningful quotes from the article you wish to remember, but be sure to note the page number for later referencing.

  10. Questions for future research • What do you question about the thesis, main points, or the argument supporting them? • What connections are there between your knowledge & experience, and the information you gathered from the source? • Avoid yes/no questions – they limit thought & dialogue.

  11. Creating the Annotated Bib • Start with the citation written in MLA style (hint: use NoodleTools, RefWorks, or other Works Cited generators, but always double-check for accuracy) • Pay attention to the details of a bibliographic citation: • Capitalization • Punctuation • Use of italics

  12. Creating the Annotated Bib • Then write the Annotation: • Summarize each source’s main points • Respond critically to those points • No more than 1 quote per source and include page number(s). • Only raise one or two questions; you are not expected to answer them.

  13. Sample Annotated Bib Entry Doll, Susan and Greg Faller. "Blade Runner and Genre: Film Noir and Science Fiction." Literature Film Quarterly 14.2,1986: 89-100. Print. Doll and Faller assert that Ridley Scott's film, Blade Runner, exhibits elements of two distinct pulp genres: film noir and science fiction. The genre cross-pollination is a reflection of Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, upon which the movie is based. After a useful discussion of genre, the authors go on to discuss defining characteristics of both noir and sci-fi, despite the difficulties of such a project.

  14. Sample Annotated Bib Entry (cont.) Through their accessible discussion and useful examples from the film, the authors reveal the complexities involved in the combination of genres. In addition, they make the reader realize the ways that noir and sci-fi complement each other, with noir providing a distinct style and sci-fi a distinct narrative direction. Is it also possible that these genres mesh well because they both address the fundamental challenges of being human in a modern technological world?

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