Annotated Bibliography An annotated bibliography is a breakdown of all the sources that you plan on using in your paper. Research is such an important part of research. Below is a breakdown a bibliography. Requirements: • You must have 8 annotations • They must 300 words per entry. (Citation does not count for the word count) • Each entry must have the following information: • Summarize: What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source? • Reflect: Once you’ve summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic? There are two good strategies you should use to begin identifying possible sources for your bibliography–one that looks back into the literature and one that looks forward. 1. The first strategy is to identify several recent scholarly books or journal articles on the topic of your annotated bibliography and review the sources cited by the author(s). Often, the items cited by an author will effectively lead you to related sources about the topic. 2. The second strategy is to identify one or more important books, book chapters, journal articles, or other documents on your topic Your method for selecting which sources to annotate depends on the research problem you are investigating. For example, if the research problem is to compare the social factors that led to protests in Egypt with the social factors that led to protests against the government of the Phillippines in the 1980’s, you will have to consider including non-U.S., historical, and, if possible, foreign language sources in your bibliography. (HINT HINT) NOTE: Appropriate sources to include can be anything that has value in understanding the research problem. Be creative in thinking about possible sources, including non-textual items, such as, films, maps, photographs, and audio recordings, or archival documents and primary source materials, such as, diaries, government documents, collections of personal correspondence, meeting minutes, and official memorandums. Consult with a librarian if you’re not sure how to locate these types of materials for your bibliography. ________________________________________ Strategies to Define the Scope of your Bibliography It is important that the sources cited and described in your bibliography are well-defined and sufficiently narrow in coverage to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed by the number of potential items to consider including. Many of the general strategies used to narrow a topic for a research paper are the same that you can use to define the scope of your bibliography. These are: • Aspect — choose one lens through which to view the research problem, or look at just one facet of your topic [e.g., rather than a bibliography of sources about the role of food in religious rituals, create a bibliography on the role of food in Hindu ceremonies]. • Time — the shorter the time period to be covered, the more narrow the focus [e.g., rather than political scandals of the 20th century, cite literature on political scandals during the 1930s and the 1990s]. • Geography — the smaller the region of analysis, the fewer items there are to consider including in your bibliography [e.g., rather than cite sources about trade relations in West Africa, include only sources that examine trade relations between Niger and Cameroon]. • Type — focus your bibliography on a specific type or class of people, places, or things [e.g., rather than health care provision in Japan, cite research on health care provided to elderly men in Japan]. • Source — your bibliography includes specific types of materials [e.g., only books, only scholarly journal articles, only films, etc.]. However, be sure to describe why only one type of source is appropriate. • Combination — use two or more of the above strategies to focus your bibliography very narrowly or to broaden coverage of a very specific research problem [e.g., cite literature only about political scandals during the 1930s and the 1990s and that have only taken place in Great Britain]. ________________________________________ Assessing the Relevance and Value of Sources All the items you include in your bibliography should reflect the source’s contribution to understanding the research problem or the overall issue being addressed. In order to determine how you will use the source or define its contribution, you will need to assess the quality of the central argument within the source.
Specific elements to assess include an item’s overall value in relation to other sources on the topic, its limitations, its effectiveness in defining the research problem, the methodology used, the quality of the evidence, and the author’s conclusions and/or recommendations. With this in mind, determining whether a source should be included in your bibliography depends on how you think about and answer the following questions related to its content: • Are you interested in the way the author frames the research questions or in the way the author goes about answering it [the method]? • Does the research findings make new connections or promote new ways of understanding a problem? • Are you interested in the way the author uses a theoretical framework or a key concept? • Does the source refer to and analyze a particular body of evidence that you want to cite? • How are the author’s conclusions relevant to your overall investigation of the topic? ________________________________________ V. Format and Content The format of an annotated bibliography can differ depending on its purpose and the nature of the assignment. Contents may be listed alphabetically by author or arranged chronologically by publication date. If the bibliography includes a lot of sources, items may also be subdivided thematically or by type. If you are unsure, ask your professor for specific guidelines in terms of length, focus, and the type of annotation you are to write. Introduction Your bibliography should include a brief introductory paragraph that explains the method used to identify possible sources [including what sources, such as databases, you searched], the rationale for selecting the sources, and a statement, if appropriate, regarding what sources were deliberately excluded and the reason why. Citation This first part of your entry contains the bibliographic information written in a standard documentation style, such as, MLA, Chicago, or APA. Ask your professor what style is most appropriate and be consistent! Annotation The second part should summarize, in paragraph form, the content of the source. What you say about the source is dictated by the type of annotation you are asked to write. In most cases, however, your annotation should provide critical commentary that examines the source and its relationship to the topic. Things to think critically about when writing the annotation include: Does the source offer a good introduction on the issue? Does the source effectively address the issue? Would novices find the work accessible or is it intended for an audience already familiar with the topic? What limitations does the source have [reading level, timeliness, reliability, etc.]? Are any special features, such as, appendices or non-textual elements effectively presented? What is your overall reaction to the source? If it’s a website or online resource, is it up-to-date, well-organized, and easy to read, use, and navigate? Length Annotations can vary significantly in length, from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages. However, they are normally about 300 words. The length will depend on the purpose. If you’re just writing summaries of your sources, the annotations may not be very long. However, if you are writing an extensive analysis of each source, you’ll need to devote more space. REMINDER: Research Foundation/Bibliography a. Define and articulate a research question (formulate a research hypothesis). b. Identify possible sources of information in many types and formats. c. Judge the scope of the project. d. Reevaluate the research question based on the nature and extent of information available and the parameters of the research project. e. Select the most appropriate investigative methods (surveys, interviews, experiments) and research tools (periodical indexes, databases, websites). f. Plan the research project. g. Retrieve information using a variety of methods (draw on a repertoire of skills). h. Refine the search strategy as necessary. i. Write and organize useful notes and keep track of sources. j. Evaluate sources using appropriate criteria. k. Synthesize, analyze and integrate information sources and prior knowledge. l. Revise hypothesis as necessary. m. Use information effectively for a specific purpose. n. Understand such issues as plagiarism, ownership of information (implications of copyright to some extent), and costs of information. o. Cite properly and give credit for sources of ideas. Rough Draft A prospectus is a formal proposal of a research project developed to convince a reader (a professor or research committee, or later in life, a project coordinator, funding agency, or the like) that the research the research can be carried out and will yield worthwhile results. It should provide: • a working title for your project, • a statement of your research question or issue, • an overview of scholarship related to this topic or to the author, • a brief summary of your research methods and/or your theoretical approach. A prospectus is normally accompanied by a bibliography, often annotated, which lists sources you have consulted or plan to consult for your research. In cases where the texts studied exist in multiple editions or in translation, the bibliography should normally state which edition, text, or translation you will be using and why. Contents: In most cases, a prospectus will begin with an overview of existing scholarship, summarizing basic arguments relevant to the project. It will then position the project with reference to this scholarship. For this reason, the prospectus will demonstrate that you have conducted enough preliminary research to be able to design a relevant project and carry it through relatively independently. Since at this stage much research remains to be done, a thesis statement usually does not follow this introduction. Instead, include a statement of hypothesis or of the central research questions.
The prospectus should then offer an overview of the project organization. If the project is large enough for chapters, include a breakdown of them. If special skills or assistance such as foreign language competency, access to archives or special collections, technical skills, or access to technical equipment are needed to complete your project, the prospectus should address your preparation in these areas. Part of your goal is, in essence, to “sell” your research supervisors on both your project and yourself as a researcher. Cover the ground well, presenting yourself and your project as intellectually convincing. Developing an initial prospectus will help faculty understand where you are in the research process and help you bring focus to your research throughout the experience. Because it lays out a framework for your project, the prospectus can provide you with direction during the inevitable moments when you feel overwhelmed or lost. And because you have already clearly demonstrated your ability to carry out your research project, the prospectus can serve to reinforce your confidence and help keep you on track for a timely completion. Beyond its relevance to your current research project, a prospectus helps you sharpen several important skills. Because a good prospectus demands concise, informative writing, composing one will help hone your writing style. In asking you to persuasively describe a compelling project and establish your ability to carry it out, it draws on abilities applicable to a variety of situations in and out of the academy, such as scholarship and funding applications, proposals for research forums, conferences, or publications, job applications, and preparation for larger and more complex research projects such as those found in Ph.D. programs and a variety of professional settings. The skill is so important that some people—grant writers—make a profession out of writing prospectuses. REVIEW • Prospectus a. State the general topic of your study. b. List the questions your study will seek the answer. c. Discuss the importance of these answers. d. Make clear how your study will answer the questions you have raised. e. Summarize your interests and qualifications. f. Explain the organization of the study. g. Outline the chapters of your paper or project. h. Break down the phases or stages of your research. i. Estimate the time it will take you to complete your project. j. Estimate the rest of your project and what is left. k. Review any assignment information. l. Use standard formatting Your prospectus will be at least 2 FULL pages. Research Essay We have reached the final paper for this class!! You should be experiencing a sense of relief, fear, and maybe some excitement to end the semester. For your final paper, you will create a research on one of the following topics. Requirements: • 11 full pages long. Please note: In order for me to grade your paper, it must meet this page requirement. In other words, for it to meet the six-page length requirement, the writing on your essay must reach the end of the sixth page. It cannot be ¾ of the way. It must a full page. MLA format • 1” Margins • 12 point Times New Roman Font • Double spaced • Header on first page, single spaced including students name, teacher’s name, date of assignment • Title, centered one space between header and body of text, 12 point, do not bold • Top right hand corner of each page (header), student’s last name and page number • Works Cited- Make sure you write it correctly.
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