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SOCY 3155/3755 - Research Methods - Dr. Stephanie Potochnick

Creating an annotated bibliography

 

 Creating an Annotated Bibliography

WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, & documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive & evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, & quality of the sources cited.

ANNOTATIONS  VS. ABSTRACTS

Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive & critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity & appropriateness of expression, & authority.

THE PROCESS

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, & informed library research.

First, locate & record citations to books, periodicals, & documents that may contain useful information & ideas on your topic. Briefly examine & review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme & scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

CRITICALLY APPRAISING THE BOOK, ARTICLE, OR DOCUMENT

For guidance in critically appraising & analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see document titled “How to Critically Analyze Information Sources.” For information on the author's background & views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials & book review sources.

CHOOSING THE CORRECT FORMAT FOR THE CITATIONS

Check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class. Online citation guides for both the Modern Language Association (MLA) & the American Psychological Association (APA) styles are linked from the Library's Citation & Style Guide page.

SAMPLE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE

The following example uses the ASA format for the journal citation.

 

Kerr, Don & Roderic Beaujot. 2003. “Child Poverty & Family Structure in Canada, 1981‐1997.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 34(3):321‐335.

 

Sociology professors Kerr & Beaujot analyze the demographics of impoverished families. Drawing on data from Canada’s annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the authors consider whether each family had one or two parents, the age of single parents, & the number of children in each household. They analyze child poverty rates in light of both these demographic factors & larger economic issues. Kerr & Beaujot use this data to argue that…

 

The following example uses the APA format for the journal citation.

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living & the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51 (4), 541‐554.

The authors, researchers at the R& Corporation & Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women & Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, & expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males.  Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self‐sufficiency, & changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

 

This example uses the MLA format for the journal citation. NOTE: St&ard MLA practice requires double spacing within citations.

Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, & Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living & the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541‐554. Print.

The authors, researchers at the R& Corporation & Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women & Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, & expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self‐sufficiency, & changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.