UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES                            Fenwick Library                            Reference Department           ...
   Methods used to collect data—Where did the information come from?       Usefulness—What does it do for your research?...
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Writing an Annotated Bibliography-Books


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Writing an Annotated Bibliography-Books

  1. 1. UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Fenwick Library Reference Department Writing an Annotated Bibliography of BooksThis exercise contains many research skills you will need to be an effective researcher in college: 1. Finding books 2. Citing sources 3. Summarizing information 4. Evaluating materials for your research needA bibliography is a list of sources that were used as resource material for the paper or project athand. For this exercise:  Search the library catalog for your topic.  Find five books on your topic and retrieve them.  Examine the books you found and determine whether or not they are appropriate for your topic.  If they are not appropriate, go back to the library catalog until you have identified five appropriate books.  Print out the full bibliographic record from the catalog for each of the five books. Next, photocopy the title page of each of the books.  On a separate piece of paper, following the example provided below, type the citation for each book, providing all relevant information. The citation should follow this format:Last name of Author, First name. The Title of the Book is capitalized and put in italics: TheSubtitle is also included. City: Publisher, Year.Beneath each citation, using your own words, type an annotation. An annotation is a briefdescriptive and evaluative note that provides enough information about the book so a person candecide whether or not to consult the book.To write an annotation, you will comment, in paragraph form, on the following elements:  Content—Whats the book about? Is it relevant to your research?  Purpose-—Whats it for? Why was this book written?
  2. 2.  Methods used to collect data—Where did the information come from?  Usefulness—What does it do for your research?  Reliability—Is the information accurate?  Authority—Is it written by someone who has the expertise to author the information?  Currency—Is it new? Is it up-to-date for the topic?  Scope/Coverage/Limitations—What does it cover? What does the author state that he or she will cover? What doesnt the book provide that would be helpful?  Arrangement—How is the book organized? Are there any special "added-value" features?  Ease of use—Can a "real person" use this book? What reading level is the book?Here is a sample citation and annotation to get you started:List, Carla J. Information Research. Dubuque, la.: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 2002.In this book, Carla List, an award-winning teacher and librarian, defines and describes informationand provides step-by-step instruction on doing research. In seven chapters, she covers theorganization of information, information technology, and the presentation, analysis, evaluation,and citation of information. A bibliography, glossary, and index are included. This book is aimed atthe college-level student and is useful to the inexperienced researcher.Burkhardt, Joanna M., Mary C. MacDonald, and Andrée J. Rathemacher. Teaching Information Literacy: 35 Practical,Standards-based Exercises for College Students. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003, pp. 57-58 (Exercise 25).