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Stage 3

Find and Write

  • Find/read two articles
  • Write 100-150 word annotated bibliography entries for each article
  • Due via email by midnight on Tuesdays


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Annotated Bibliography Example

Annotated Bibliography

  • Annotation: a brief write-up, a summary, covering salient points
  • Bibliography (French, bibliothèque means Library; Spanish La biblioteca means Library): The "library" (grouping) of material I looked at to write a paper.
  • So a bibliography is not a works cited. A Bibliography is everything you read to make a paper
  • A Works Cited are the sources you actually quote or paraphrase in a paper.
  • (And btw, in science, in APA style, a References page lists ALL of the sources you quoted/paraphrased AND any other sources you mention within a paper (but it does not include everything you read to make the paper happen).
  • So, annotation and bibliography together is a set of brief writings about each of the sources I used to write a research paper, whether those sources are quoted in paper or were just used to fill my knowledge.

Why use an AB

  • An annotated bibliography helps you keep track of the sources you have found for a big research project.
    • When writing a 5-page paper with half a dozen sources, it's OK to juggle those sources in your head, but when you go on to semester-long research project, or a final capstone projects for a BA, (and certainly for Masters Thesis or Phd Dissertation) keeping an annotated bibliography will give you a quick recap of the sources you have already read, and maybe had read many months or years ago.
    • My Master’s Thesis in English Literature had 51 citations in the works cited. This is not bragging; this is standard-ish size. But those sources are the ones that were IN the paper, culled down from 100+ sources that were in my bibliography (my library of sources). Without an annotated bibliography, I would have had to juggle those 100s of sources for over a year and a half.
    • AND during that time, I had to take the Masters Comps, a.k.a Comprehensives, which meant knowing (in our heads, not with notes or access to the texts) 25 full theories and 50 literary units. One unit could be the novel Frankenstein (it actually was one of them) another one could have been ALL of Percy Shelley’s poetry. (yup, that one/many was there too.) The Comps test was six hours long.
    • Luke Leonard and I were in the same Masters Program together at UCF, and he too suffered this same strenuous load of Comps’ theories and texts and massive lists of sources for his thesis paper.
    • A few years later, in my PhD dissertation, I was actually below the typical amount with only 129 citations in the works cited, but the total count of sources I examined ranged over 250. The time frame was a lot longer, I was raising a teenager and started a full time teaching post at, then, BCC, and, without an annotated bibliography, for 5 years of my life I would have had to juggle those 250 sources in my head.
    • That simply cannot be done.

    ABs as ELI5 and TL;DR

    • Annotations are a combination of ELI5 and TL;D
    • Eli5 and TL; DR are, to me, brilliant 21st century responses to over-saturation of media and information. And we’ll use those two devices to write Anno bibs.
      • ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5 years old)
      • TL: DR (Too long; didn’t read)
    • These two are methodologies, not simple abbreviations. Try to think this way.
      • ELI5 the sky is blue.
      • ELI5 nuclear reactors.
      • What are you a minor expert in? What area of knowledge do you possess?
      • Take the most difficult concept in that collection of knowledge of yours and ELI5 + TL;DR.
      • Cutting something down to its essential core aspect and doing so in a way that anyone can understand is a phenomenal skill that takes practice, lots of practice, and if you're not going to practice then we might as well give away the violin to a kid who will.

    How to Write an AB

    • So here’s what you need to answer in each annotation so that, later, when you come back to the annotations, you‘ll be reminded of the important points.
      1. What’s the container’s purpose?
      2. What’s the central concept of the article or chapter?
      3. What was really interesting or even quotable?
    1. What is the purpose of the Main Container?
      • Answer that question in 2- 4 sentences.
      • In MLA, a Main Container holds something:
      • a website is a container that holds articles
      • a book is a container that holds chapters
      • a journal is a container that holds peer reviewed academic articles
      • a magazine is a container that holds popular articles
      • a newspaper is container that holds news articles.
      • EXAMPLE:In the case of an Aeon article, Aeon is the container. What is the purpose of that website? What kind of articles does Aeon typically have? From what disciplines (think names of degrees: psychology, chemistry, architecture, etc) do the articles come?
    2. What’s the main central ELI5 +TL;DR of the article; it’s new, fresh, unique concept.
      • Talk about that main central idea by using 3-6 sentences, and the more brief you can be then the better, but brief doesn’t mean short; it means to economize on word use.
      • That sentence above has 32 words in it. Let’s economize that sentence:
      • In 3 - 6 sentences, economize words while discussing the central concept.
      • (only 12 words!)
    3. Interesting idea or quote.
      • In the last part of the annotation, give a sentence or two about what really drew your attention in that article. Sometimes this attentive detail can be you paraphrasing an area, and sometimes you might directly quote the article at the end of the annotation.

    Caveats, provisos, warnings

    • DO NOT use these words in the anno bibs:
      • the author
      • authors
      • him, they, her
      • the article (Unless a title immediately follows those words.)
      • the book. (Unless a title immediately follows those words.)
    • GIVE names to those people and titles, even if the anno bib sounds repetitive. That way the names will seat themselves in your brain's memory from repetition.
      • Don't say: The website's article discusses anger.
      • DO say: The website Aeon's article "The Fruits of Anger" discusses...
      • Don't say: The author discusses how....
      • DO say: Brian Wong discusses how...

    Finding Other's ABs or Bibliographies.

    • Sometimes you can find a list of sources concerning your research. Many academics maintain bibliographies concerning their own research, and many academics put them on the web.
    • Finding an AB does not mean you are done doing your own research, but a found AB is a good game cheat to find lots of sources quickly.
      • For instance, here is a bibliography concerning the concept Dark Triad.

    Wrapping it up.

    • Put both anno bibs in one word document.
    • ONLY use Valencia MLA as the source on how to write the citation
    • Use Double space, Times new Roman, 12 pt font size.
    • Use a Hanging Indent like a work cited uses.
    • Alphabetize the entries by whatever first word is hanging in the margin.
    • See the image farther below

    Emailing me Files

    • Name your Word document file: LastnameAnnoBibSet1.docx (or use the number of what set it is: 2, 3, 4, etc)
    • In the subject line of the email put ONLY your course name and number, such as HUM 2390
    • Do not write anything inside the email.

    Emailing me questions

    • If you have a question for me via email, or something you need to tell me, then DO NOT put the class name in the subject line.
    • Put a TL; DR of the email in the subject line, such as these:
      • Attendance
      • Grades
      • Questioning a Valid Source