What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of references with each citation followed by a brief paragraph that summarizes and critically evaluates the source - a book, article, website, report, etc. The list of references (bibliography) and accompanying paragraphs (annotations) inform readers about the best research available on a specific topic or theme. Each annotation is generally about 150 words, or 5-7 sentences, and should:
summarize and analyze content and conclusions
- evaluate the relevancy, accuracy, and quality of a source
Citations are formatted in a specific style, such as APA or MLA. The number of annotations depends on the scope of your project; ask your instructor for specific details, including what citation style to use. Resources that are not useful (irrelevant, unreliable, out of date) should not be included. You should gather and examine a large pool of resources then narrow it down to the ones you will annotate and include.
Examples of annotations (citations in APA):
Ma, O. (2008). National identity formation through topical stamp production. Journal of Philately, 57, 112-134.
Stamp collector and critic Ophelia Ma introduces theories of national identity to one of the world's most popular and longstanding hobbies: stamp collecting. Delving into a wide range of seemingly innocuous themes for stamps—including movie stars of film noirs, prime ministers, and bunnies - Ma argues that the production and collection of topical stamps is "an essentially nostalgic enterprise" (113) that reinforces traditionally held views about culture and society, and which may even "manufacture nostalgia or an entirely new mythos where none existed before" (114). Extensive interviews with stamp collectors and general stamp users reveal that looking at and handling - or even being aware of - certain stamps informs citizens of their nation's history and generates a sense of pride and unity. Unfortunately Ma stops here: deeper investigation into the effects of cross-cultural and multinational stamp exchange and how it relates to constructing ideas about other nations is needed. Despite this, the focus on Canadian philately is particularly useful. Ma also provides a comprehensive bibliography.
Holle, M. (2008). Zombieproof! Undead disaster planning for academic libraries. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Meg Holle, librarian and zombie scholar, serves both fields in this treatise on zombie attack disaster planning for libraries. Though targeting academic libraries, her surveys of how building design affects strategic positioning (for zombie prevention, horde dispersal, and quarantine activities) could easily be applied to public libraries or other university and civic buildings. Unlike many zombie survival guides, Holle makes the crucial distinction between "fast" and "slow" zombies, structuring the book and her arguments accordingly. This is especially useful for point-of-need, quick lookup. She also includes several instructive diagrams, example floor plan repurposing and readiness checklists. Despite otherwise inclusiveness, Holle disparages the theory of zombie infection or inhabitation by extraterrestrial beings. As a result Zombieproof! does not address the issues of zombie-alien warfare and associated complications (e.g., limb regeneration or mind-controlled "smart" zombies).
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