This assignment asks you to write an annotated bibliography, including two separate entries on articles or book chapters relevant to your research subject, before turning in your final research paper. The final research paper is due December 17th.
Your annotated bibliography is due December 10th.
What is an annotated bibliography? The Purdue Owl offers a concise introduction to writing an annotated bibliography and breaks the annotation down to three steps: summary, assessment, reflection. I ask that you incorporate each step in your annotations.
How long should my annotations be? Each annotation should be 250-300 words in length.
Do I need to include quotations? Yes, quotations with parenthetical citations of the correct page number(s) are required. Quotations are necessary to highlight key arguments or terms. Therefore, there should be at least one quotation in each entry.
How do I know if a source is scholarly? Good question! A scholarly source is one that has been “peer-reviewed.” In most cases, the articles, books, and chapters included in the Baruch Library research databases have been peer-reviewed (meaning they have been read and approved of by experts in a particular field of study), so I encourage you to begin your research there, at the Baruch online library. To help you get you started, I’ve put together a tutorial video on doing research with databases. You can watch that video here. If you find a source and are not sure whether it has been peer-reviewed, please check with me before writing your annotation.
How do I get started? The first step to writing an annotated bibliography is to choose your research topic. At this stage of research, the topic can still be broad. For example, if you are interested in Milton’s depiction of God in Paradise Lost, or the representation of Eve, you might begin with the following search terms: “Milton,” “Paradise Lost,” “God”; related terms include “theology,” “religion,” and “devotion. Regarding Eve, you might try “Milton,” “women,” and “feminism.” You’ll need to experiment with your search terms. This process can take time, but it is a helpful way of narrowing your focus. After identifying three relevant scholarly sources, you’ll have a much clearer sense of what you want to write about.
I recommend you start the annotated bibliography early. It takes time to do research; it especially takes time to read and summarize scholarly prose.
Writing the annotated bibliography will improve your research skills. Moreover, it will put you in a good position to articulate your thesis and write your research essay having already done a lot of the groundwork. The writing that you do in the annotated bibliography can be adapted (though not copied and pasted) in your research essay.