What Is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief paragraph called the “annotation.” The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
There are two types of annotated bibliographies. The “descriptive” annotated bibliography summarizes a source, describes why it is useful for researching a particular topic or question, and describes the author’s main arguments and conclusions. The “analytical” annotated bibliography includes the same elements, but it also analyzes what is written or argued. It critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s argument and conclusions.
This assignment will require you to research and write an analytical annotated bibliography. You cannot use sources that are in our course materials—you must seek outside references. Your annotated bibliography will include bibliographic entries AND a narrative explanation of the source and how it will be used to answer your research question. Wikipedia.com, About.com, History.com, Ask.com and any online sources that do not contain source citations and author information are not allowed as sources for this assignment. These are sites for the general population and not considered appropriate for college-level work.
There is a wealth of information available in the traditional formats of books, journals, and newspapers. UMGC’s library subscribes to many databases that contain such resources, which are available in electronic format. https://sites.umgc.edu/library/index.cfm
For this assignment, you will do a search of UMGC’s databases (https://sites.umgc.edu/library/index.cfm) for five (5) articles in scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals on your chosen topic. Each annotation should be between 250–300 words each.
You should choose some topic that deals with some aspect of science or technology in world history. This covers a broad area so you can use your imagination. See topic below:
Technology of our Past: How Has the Compass Impacted History?
Provide a complete citation for the article using Chicago Manual of Style. For an example of what elements to include in your citation, go to Course Content and review the resources in the Chicago Style module. In the Sample Citations section, look under Online Journal Articles and note that you need to provide the name of the database you found the article in and your date of access.
Annotated Bibliography Components
For each source, include the following components:
1. Begin each annotated bibliography entry by identifying the source in correct Chicago Manual of Style documentation.
2. A brief description of the author’s topic, thesis, and methodology. In other words, in what academic discipline does the work fall in (history, literature, social science, women’s studies, cultural studies, etc.)? What kind of evidence does the author draw upon?
3. A concise outline of the main points in the text.
4. A statement about the author’s goals and his/her intended audience. Are there any clear biases?
5. Most importantly is your critical evaluation of the text’s usefulness for the investigation of your topic. What are the strengths of the source? What are the deficiencies or limitations of the source?
6. Did the article help you to further understand the topic? If so, explain how. If not, explain what information might have been helpful.
7. Explain how each of your sources compares to the others. Are there any general trends you see in your selected books and articles?
Paper must be in a Word document.
There are numerous websites that will show you how to construct an annotated bibliography. UMGC also has a guide to writing an annotated bibliography (requires Flash Player to view the video) https://sites.umgc.edu/library/libhow/bibliography_tutorial.cfm
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