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Annotated bibliographies


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How to create an annotated bibliography with focus upon the annotation portion. Additional resources here:

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Annotated bibliographies

  1. 1. Annotated Bibliographies By: Karen Hornberger Library Media Specialist Palisades High School
  2. 2. What is an annotated bibliography? An annotated bibliography goes beyond a traditional Works Cited page. In addition to properly citing your sources in the citation format preferred by your teacher, a 150-250 word paragraph follows. In that paragraph, you summarize the source and justify your selection of this source by evaluating its relevance and authority and its unique value to your research.
  3. 3. When do you create your annotated bibliography? It is preferred that you annotate your bibliography when you are initiating your research. This will help you:  Assess the purpose that each resource will hold for your research  Determine how the various resources will support each other to assist your thesis  Identify redundant resources  Determine that the resources that you have selected are of top-notch quality  Ultimately, to provide focus during research.
  4. 4. When to stop annotating  You will want to find out from your teacher or professor whether you must annotate ALL sources within your bibliography.  They may exempt you from the requirement of annotating additional sources once you submit a certain required number of annotated sources or pass a certain deadline for submission.  If you are exempt at any point and, as a result, have a mixture of both annotated and non-annotated sources, you will want to find out from them how to submit your final Works Cited (will your instructor want them presented alphabetically in one grouping or will they prefer you to separate the annotated resources from the non-annotated resources?)
  5. 5. What will it look like? (this example, written by PHS student, Haley Viall, uses MLA formatting. You may want to view the example in full- screen mode)
  6. 6. An Idea…and two warnings Idea: search for more examples on the web! There are great examples out there!!!! Warnings: DO NOT only summarize your source – there must be more to your annotation than a summarization. DO NOT copy an abstract/summary provided – that is considered plagiarism.
  7. 7. Summary We list summary as the first portion of the annotation. However, as a writer, you can choose to place it anywhere within the annotation that it flows best!
  8. 8. Summary notes  Focus upon summarizing only the content that most helps your research (avoid re-listing everything within the table of contents unless you are in middle school and just “getting your feet wet” with annotations).  You do not need to identify contents within the resource that are “unnecessarily extraneous” to your research (with information that does not apply to your focus.)  The ideal length is two sentences of summary, maximum.
  9. 9. Connections In this area you have three types of connections that you can make: • Connections to subtopics • Identification of unique attributes of each source type • Interconnectedness of resources
  10. 10. Your source should connect to your outline:  Is your source especially useful to one sub- topic within your outline? Did you use it heavily to support one specific area within your research?  You will want to specify, through the annotation, which specific area of your research your source was especially useful in supporting.
  11. 11. Your source may add balance in terms of the author’s perspective: an important cultural perspective a differing political perspective a selected (or non-selected) military choice a religious perspective  If you have selected a source which provides a unique and important perspective, you will want to mention that in the annotation.  Maybe you have accessed a news report from another country which enlightens your understanding.  If you feel it is biased, yet still useful, be sure to mention that in your annotation. Discuss how it is a limitation and how you will balance the bias with an additional resource and identify which resource it is that will provide that balance.
  12. 12. Your source may add balance in terms of source type:  Primary sources will give you a unique, first-hand, perspective. In a primary source document, the tone may be very persuasive or somewhat passive or the vocabulary used may be important.  A quality Secondary source may provide more thorough analytical perspectives. Maybe generations have passed, allowing for long-term analysis.  A scholarly journal is a secondary source which often communicates research findings within a particular field of study.  If the type of source that you have selected is especially pertinent to its value to your research, you will want to mention that in the annotation.
  13. 13. Another way your source may add balance in terms of source type:  Is your source an extremely quantitative source (providing statistics or other data) which provides a numeric framework to your reader?  Maybe your source is heavily qualitative (which has surveyed people for their opinions, feelings, or beliefs)?  If you have selected a heavily quantitative or qualitative source, you will want to make mention of this value to your research.
  14. 14. Comparison/Contrast  If you were to essentially “lay your sources all out on a table” how is your source unique in comparison to the others that you are consulting? You may compare/contrast to other resources within your bibliography. For example, “This study performed by Stephens analyzes high school dropouts’ socioeconomic status while the study that will be referenced authored by Hardin analyzes the effects of blended learning on student achievement and attrition.”
  15. 15. Comparison/Contrast, cont.  Upon analysis of your sources in comparison to each other, you may find that you have selected “redundant sources” For example, if you have selected two resources about Child Development, you must be able to identify how aspects from each will support your research in ways that are different from each other.  Maybe you are using direct quotes from both of the resources that are vital to your argument?  You must be able to justify the use of both resources (if you cannot, you may need to dump one of the resources)
  16. 16. Source Quality and Authority In this area you will justify why you believe that this resource has been provided to you by a knowledgeable source and its copyright date is appropriate.
  17. 17. Source Quality and Authority  You will most likely need to conduct a web search to gather biographical information on the author(s) or the organization and its mission.  What are their major accomplishments (in relation to your research focus)?  What is the author’s perspective, based upon their job title (would they be providing a business perspective, an educator’s perspective, an historian’s perspective, etc.?) How does their perspective provide unique insight to your research?
  18. 18. Quality & Reliability of source  Has your source been printed in a highly respected journal? If so, identify its title within the annotation.  Was your source part of a nationally renowned study or survey? If so, identify it within the annotation.
  19. 19. Copyright of Source The copyright is a really easy way for a teacher or professor to make a quick judgment about your research.  Are your copyright dates current (ideally within the last five years but no older than the last 10)?  Do you need to justify the inclusion of an older copyright date?  Is this a classic work which enlightens your reader on the origin of your topic (not the history, but the origin of intellectual recognition of your topic)? Be aware of your copyright dates and be sure to be able to proactively defend each older copyright date through your annotated bibliography.
  20. 20. Citation Style You must follow the appropriate recommendations for whichever style your teacher or professor prefers.
  21. 21. Citation Style Link here for citation style help from Purdue OWL
  22. 22. Writing There is more than spelling and grammar to consider when your teacher or professor grades your writing.
  23. 23. Getting the ideas out first You can start with a “sloppy copy” to get your ideas out, but remember to clean up the formality, word choice, sentence beginnings, etc. prior to turning in your annotated bibliography.
  24. 24. Formal or Informal?  It is up to your teacher. Some are bothered by the usage of informal words such as my/I, or you/your while others are not. Did you notice that our example on the previous slide used the word my?  Check with your teacher to find out what they prefer. While you may naturally write using informal language, it is typically easy to take out these informal words during the editing process without any need for major editing.
  25. 25. Beyond Spelling and Punctuation  In addition to proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, you want to be sure to write using sophisticated language.  Be cautious to start your sentences using varied language/sentence beginnings.  Use proper terminology, throughout.  Recognize that writing is another area where your teacher is likely able to make a quick judgment about your work and make sure that they will be making a positive judgment.
  26. 26. By justifying the importance of each source, you are:  Letting your teacher know that you are not a haphazard researcher  Letting your teacher know that you intentionally and systematically conducted your research.  Identifying that the resources you carefully selected truly enhance your unique thesis statement.
  27. 27. Suggestions  There are really good resources on YouTube and SlideShare describing how to create an annotated bibliography.  Read over your work and compare your annotations to your rubric, if you were given one. Here is the link to our rubric.
  28. 28. GOOD LUCK! You can do it! …and you can do it WELL 
  29. 29. Image Credits Slide #7 (summary): Slide #9 (connections): Slide #16 (source quality and authority): Slide #20 (citation style): Slide #22 (writing):