Annotated bibliographies combine bibliographic citation with a summary of points relevant to your research goals. Each individual combination of citation and summary is called an annotation. They sometimes include evaluations of works cited. Annotated bibliographies are an excellent way to keep track of multiple sources for research purposes; if you ever write a research paper, annotations will help you keep track of how you interpreted the readings you consulted. It is strongly recommended that you read the web page on critically analyzing sources and at least one of the articles on how to write annotations for annotated bibliographies. The links and materials are provided in the section below entitled “Helpful Resources.”
Why are we writing annotated bibliographies? The annotations in annotated bibliographies are written in your own words. The process of writing them helps you keep track of what you learned from a reading, and using your own words helps you to digest the specialized ideas and research in an academic reading. Figuring out how to identify and interpret what you find important about someone else’s ideas is the key to doing well in any written assignment based on research. Moreover, it will help you to develop your critical voice and recognize that your informed perspective can be a powerful and unique contribution to academic conversations.
Important details: Each annotation will be 250-words maximum in length (1 page) and will be typed in the spaces provided on the library research worksheet. For additional formatting details, see the section below entitled “Formatting.”
Your sources must be in the fields of anthropology or sociology; the library worksheets ask you to use specific databases to locate them. Your sources must look at your topic from a human dimension, e.g. human actions/consequences/experiences. A librarian will deliver a presentation on how to do this well in advance of the assignment due date. Expect to consult more resources than required before you find books or articles that are relevant to your research topic and keywords.
Grading: Your work will be marked based on your competency in information literacy, which means how well you recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively.
What should you learn from this exercise?
Through this exercise, you should be able to develop and hone the following skills:
• Identify and refine a research topic
• Effectively use keyword searches to identify relevant information sources in the York University library catalogue and electronic databases linked to the York library system
• Access the information you need to locate suitable academic sources (i.e. is this really a book?)
• Identify the characteristics of a good academic source (i.e. is this a relevant source?)
• Evaluate academic information and its sources critically (i.e. what claims do the authors make and how do you interpret them?)
• Incorporate selected information into your knowledge base (i.e. summarize using your own words)
• Use library resources effectively to accomplish a specific purpose: to effectively conduct a literature search and write annotations for a variety of academic sources
• Use citation conventions for anthropology
How to Complete the Library Research Exercise
1. Answer each question and complete each step on the library research worksheet, located at the end of this document.
2. Complete three annotations (2 for the journal articles and 1 for the book chapter) for the academic sources that you have identified in your library search. Each annotation should be no more than 250 words long. Please refer to the Author-Date Citation Quick Guide in The Chicago Manual of Style (a link is posted on Moodle) for detailed instructions on how to format the ‘reference citation’ component of your annotations.
3. Submit an electronic copy of your assignment, saved as a WORD document, via Moodle by the deadlines listed above and submit a hard copy to your TA in your tutorial.
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