Families and Health Block U

This is a course guide for Dr. Marissa Diener and Dr. Rebecca Utz's Families and Health Block U course.

Annotated Bibliography

WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of materials focused on a particular topic. Each citation is followed by a brief annotation, or paragraph that describes or evaluates the source.

 

WHY AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

  • To keep track of existing research and how those materials interact with each other
  • To start thinking critically about how you might use each source in your paper
  • To show your professor the progress of your research

 

TYPES OF ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND WHAT TO INCLUDE

There are two main types of annotated bibliographies:

  1. descriptive/informative and
  2. analytical/critical.

The first resembles an abstract in that it summarizes the author’s main arguments without an evaluation of their conclusions. It may include whether the source is useful to your research topic and how the source is distinctive from others that explore the same topic.

An analytical bibliography, on the other hand, not only summarizes the source, but it examines to what extent the source will be used in your paper. Most analytical annotations will include the following:

  • A complete citation
  • A brief summary including the purpose of the source
  • An explanation of what makes the source unique or notable (if applicable)
  • A brief discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, and biases within the source
  • A statement about how you will use the source to support your thesis

 

DESCRIPTIVE EXAMPLE

Murray, Donald M. “All Writing is Autobiography." College Composition and Communication, vol. 42, no. 1, 1991, pp. 66-74.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning author argues that writing is an individualistic process, built from our own experiences and the unique ways that those experiences have shaped and influenced our personal worldview. His use of the term “autobiography” refers to two main ideas: first, the ways in which our distinct perspectives appear in our writing in how we read and interpret ideas and information; and second, the ways in which our use of language in writing reflects our own unique relationship with language. Murray effectively demonstrates his argument by giving several examples of his own personal writing and by discussing how these pieces are autobiographical. Though this article supports my main claim about writing, it seems to ignore the fact that writing is a social activity and that individual experiences are often mitigated by social circumstances.

 

ANALYTICAL EXAMPLE

Queen, Oliver. “Breeding Evil.” Economist, vol. 376, no. 9, 2017, pp. 56-57.

This editorial describes the controversy surrounding video games and the effect they have on people who play them. The article points out that most critics of gaming are people over 40, a population that doesn’t generally play or attempt to understand games. Therefore, the issue is one of age and not of the games themselves. He adds that gaming has actually had a positive impact on those who play them. He cites players’ abilities to problem solve, build relationships with players from other countries and backgrounds, develop hand-eye coordination and empathy, and hone creative skills and imagination. While the author briefly mentions studies done around the issue of violence and gaming, he does not adequately summarize the research that has been done in the field. This article is a good resource for those wanting to begin to explore the controversy surrounding video games; however, I will need to pair this with the James Gee article to fully address the benefits and drawbacks of gaming.

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Evaluating Scholarly Sources

Step 1: Start with a single article

Start with one of the articles that you found when searching during the last session.  Skim the article to find information and come to an understanding of the basics of the article. Your first task is to figure out what discipline they are coming from, journal details, author credentials and the main ideas/findings. If the article does not relate at all to your research interests, find another that does.

Article Title:

Author(s) and credentials:

Audience:

Main Ideas/findings:

Describe how this article relates to your project/research for this class.


Step 2: Compare and contrast with another source

Open another article that you found during the last session. Think about this author’s main ideas and findings. What are this author’s main ideas and findings? How do this author’s ideas relate the first author’s ideas and findings?

Title:

Author:

Audience:

Main Ideas/Findings:

How do this author’s ideas relate the first author’s findings?

How could this author’s findings support your research?


Step 3: Consider what is missing

Based on your findings from the first two articles, are there other areas or perspectives that are missing from your research? Are there other questions that you have about your research/project topic?

Who is missing? What are the counter-arguments and other perspectives? What additional information do you need for your project?

How could you find these missing perspectives?

 

Your group may need reminded not to read closely, just skim to find key information.

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Literature Reviews

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library