Guidelines for Annotated Bibliography
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 and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
What is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotated Bibliography Below are some suggestions in helping you write your annotated bibliography. This document will be posted on the web and part of your yearlong project. It covers an overview of recent (since 1990) scholarship on the topic you have selected and it deals with primary, secondary, and other resources which have been useful to you over the past year. Classroom books will be useful as well. Thus providing your commentary and insights it becomes more valuable to fellow teachers who may use the material or modify the material. In the suggestions area I have listed important elements that should go into your comments. Thus you have provided a “value added” beyond simply a list. Your valuable experience as a classroom teacher helps to make American history more meaningful in engaging both your students, to other teachers and students who have seen your work on the web. So in that spirit of cooperation and high standards, I offer this model to you. Your list will be more extensive. I have simply listed some of the types you will encounter in putting together your list. Suggestions for Writing Annotations Content Purpose Usefulness Reliability Authority What is the resource about? Is it relevant to your research? What is it for? Why was the book or article written? What does it do for your research? Is the information accurate? Do other sources support the conclusions? Is it written by someone who has the expertise to author the information? What are the author’s credentials? Currency Ease of use Is it new? Is it up-to-date for the topic? Can a “real person” use this resource? What is the reading level of the resource?
Annotated Bibliography Example – Teaching American History – Revised: 07/10/08 www.tahvt.org
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Sample Citations and Annotations (Below are examples, but creatively made up) Website example (with no known authors) “How We Survived Camp Living” Revolutionary War Camping. 12 Oct. 2008. 25 Oct. 2008 This site provided basic information about camp life. It does raise some important issues about gender and status that may be useful for the classroom. It is a commercial site rather than an academic site, so it provides some insight into the clothing that was used and may be useful for supplies. The impression I had from the title of the site was that it would have primary documents. It does list some primary sources. In general, I would not use this site in my research paper unless I could corroborate the information with another more trustworthy source. I accessed this resource through Google.com. The search terms I used were revolutionary camping and camp life in eighteenth century.
Article example (with known authors)
Adams, Samuel, John Adams and Paul Revere and edited by G. I. History “The Importance of Beer and Taverns in the American Revolution.” American Journal of Social History. 97.3 (2008), 354-382. Social History Full Text. W. H. Wilson. Castleton State College, Calvin Coolidge Library. 25 Oct. 2008. This article discusses the importance of beer and taverns in bringing together discussion of the American Rebellion. It draws on the first hand experience of three Revolutionaries and their experiences in the pub. The article includes discussion of social...