Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Annotated Bibliography: Organizing Research

Research is a crucial component of many projects in your academic and professional lives.  For Project 2, you'll use annotated bibliographies to organize your writing research.

Annotation versus Citation

In Project 1, you used URL's to provide citations to outside resources.  When you found a picture on another website, you linked to that website in order to show your readers where the image came from.  Likewise, you provided links to let your readers where you learned information about your subject, and then to show your readers where to look for more information.

A Bibliography (sometimes also known as "Works Cited" or "References") fulfills this same function, giving adequate directions so that an outside reader can easily find all the sources you've used in researching your project.  An annotated bibliography goes a step further.  Annotation is when you provide a description of how and why you referenced a specific source.  This helps your readers see which of your sources they might want to look up in order to learn more about your topic.

It can also help you in your research process by helping you keep a written record of which resources look useful for which sections of your paper.  This is especially important in group projects, since each of you will be looking up several sources.  In writing your individual sections, you'll use the annotations written by your classmates to help you decide which of their sources you'll want to reference as you write your own sections, and your own annotations will help your classmates in turn.

Requirements of Good Annotation
To be effective, and annotated bibliography must clearly direct readers to the source you've referenced and provide relevant information to help them decide which of your sources are relevant to their own research.

For Project 2, I'll be grading your bibliography based on how well your bibliography answers these questions about each source:
  • What's the complete citation? (use Proper MLA Format)
  • How did you find the resource? (e.g. Milner Online Journals)
  • What is the resource about?  (e.g. "a lab report on serotonin re-uptake in a mice")
  • How does this resource apply to your project? (e.g. "the layout of the abstract and methodology provides a good example of how a lab report should be organized")
  • Which genre conventions are illustrated by this resource?
Total Number of Resources: Six Per Student
Each member in your group must locate, cite, and annotate at least six resources for this project.  You'll be graded no only on how well you cite and annotate your sources, but also on how relevant your sources are to your project.

You must each find and annotate least one of each of these types of resources (but feel free to use more):
  1. Book (from Milner - please include call number)
  2. Online Journal Article (via Milner)
  3. Hard-Copy Journal Article (via Milner)
  4. "Official" website (i.e. hosted by a university, government organization, or major corporation/nonprofit)
  5. Interview (one interview per group - each student writes his or her own "take")
I also encourage these types of resources:
  1. Multimedia Images/YouTube
  2.  Interviews with students from outside your group
  3. Microfiche
  4. Newspapers/Magazines/Other Periodicals
  5. Any resource not previously mentioned.
Since you'll be working in groups, I recommend dividing up some of the work, especially for the materials from Milner.  One person can find the books while another finds the hard copy journals while others check the online journals - I encourage you to help each other pick out which resources to read and annotate.


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