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BIOS 1620: Ecology and Evolution: Write an Annotated Bibliography

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Purdue OWL: ANnotated BibliographiesPurdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) has a great guide for writing annotated bibliographies. Take a look:

Why make an annotated bibliography?

There are many great reasons to create an annotated bibliography.

  • It's a way to help you start your research and get you thinking about the information you need to gather for your assignment.
  • It helps you recognize what information is relevent to your argument, what information is current for your argument, and what information is authoritative on your argument.
  • It's helpful to take notes on the resources you find. You will be able to weed out the useless or irrelevant material and focus more on what is productive for your assignment.
  • You can learn a lot about your topic by taking notes (i.e., annotations). You can also help inform your reader of the quality of information you chose.

 

What is an annotated bibliography?

Let's break it down. A bibliography is a list of citations of resources.  An annotation means that there is descriptive text added to the citation.

So, an annotated bibliography is a list of resources that includes the full citation of each resource followed by a summary or evaluation of each resource. The length of the summary/evaluation can be as long or as short as you want. You can write 1-2 paragraphs or 1-2 pages depending on the level of information you are trying to gather about the resource. It can also vary depending on whether or not it is for an assignment. Ask your professor if he or she has a desired length.

Many times, you will want to include an introductory paragraph to your annotated bibliography. The purpose of this paragraph is to introduce the reader to your topic.

What should I include in my summary/evaluation?

When you write your summary or evaluation of the resource, you want to convey a few basic ideas: relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. You are trying to inform the reader of your annotated bibliography and why it is or is not a good resource for your research project.

Ask yourself/Reflect on these questions:

Is the author of the resource knowledgeable and authoritative? Is the resource written for your purposes? Is it an academic resource? Something more for the general public? For children? Does this resource help the argument I am presenting in my research paper or project? Where did you find this information? In the library? In a database or on the web?

How do I write an annotated bibliography?

One way to assess your resources is to SKIM, this is not a close reading.  You are just trying to get a snapshot of what is in the resource. For an article, get clues from the title, headings, chapter titles, read the first few sentences of each paragraph. When assessing a book, get information from major divisions of the book, from chapter titles, or subheadings in a chapter.  Read the introductions and conclusions of each chapter for information.

You may want to do a more in-depth annotation and do a close reading of the resources.

Is an annotated bibliography the same as including an abstract?

No, an annotated bibliography is a critical look at a resource. An abstract is only a description and summary of the content. You want to summarize and assess your resource.

 

 

Sample Annotated Bibliographies

Below are two example annotated bibliographies, each containing only two references with an accompanying annotation.

CItations in the style of APA Publication Manual:

Aras, B., & Caha, O. (2000). Fethullah Gulen and his liberal “Turkish Islam” movement. Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal, 4(4). Retrieved on September 6, 2005, from http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/meria/journal/2000/issue4/ jv4n4a4.html

Fethullah Gulen has founded a movement that attempts to be modernist, nationalist, Islamic, and democratic all at the same time. The article is a brief survey of Gulen, covering his life and influences, the foundations of the movement, the relationship to the military and Islamic community. The secular elites are covered, but not in any great depth. The authors provide a well reasoned and insightful analysis of the significance of the movement, and conclude that Gulen's role will be an important one as a religious leader in modern Turkey, despite the multiple conflicting interests of his followers.

Babbitt, K. (2005). Mary Magdalene and the drama of saints: Theatre, gender, and religion in late Medieval England. Theatre Journal, 57(2), 331-332. Retrieved on September 6, 2005, from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theatre_journal/v057/ 57.2babbitt.html

The author provides an in-depth review of Theresa Coletti's book (ISBN-13: 978-0812238006) based on the Bodleian Library manuscript Digby 133 (the Digby Mary Magdalene). He is very favorable of the book, describing the author's analysis as knowledgeable, thorough, and cohesive. Babbitt highly recommends the text for anyone interested in looking at the performance of religion, especially in light of gender issues.

 

CItations in the style of Chicago Manual of Style:

Aras, Bultent and Omer Caha. December 2000. Fethullah Gulen and His Liberal “Turkish Islam” Movement. Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. Volume 4, No. 4: 13 pages. http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/meria/journal/2000/issue4/ jv4n4a4.html Retrieved through LORA Search, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Accessed on 6 September, 2005.

Fethullah Gulen has founded a movement that attempts to be modernist, nationalist, Islamic, and democratic all at the same time. The article is a brief survey of Gulen, covering his life and influences, the foundations of the movement, the relationship to the military and Islamic community. The secular elites are covered, but not in any great depth. The authors provide a well reasoned and insightful analysis of the significance of the movement, and conclude that Gulen's role will be an important one as a religious leader in modern Turkey, despite the multiple conflicting interests of his followers.

Babbitt, Kevin. 2005. Mary Magdalene and the drama of saints: Theatre, gender, and religion in late Medieval England. Theatre Journal 57, no. 2. 331-332. John Hopkins University Press. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theatre_journal/v057 /57.2babbitt.html. Retrieved through LORA Search, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Accessed on 10 September, 2005.

The author provides an in-depth review of Theresa Coletti's book (ISBN-13: 978-0812238006) based on the Bodleian Library manuscript Digby 133 (the Digby Mary Magdalene). He is very favorable of the book, describing the author's analysis as knowledgeable, thorough, and cohesive. Babbitt highly recommends the text for anyone interested in looking at the performance of religion, especially in light of gender issues.

 

Examples taken from: http://www.ou.edu/cls/reference/bibliography.html