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Urban Ecology LEAP Guide: Class Prep 3: Annotated Citations

Pre-class Assignments

In preparation for our 4th library session, we want you to recall the research skills we've taught in the previous three classes and apply those skills to your current topic and thesis.

We will be reading your NoodleTools citations and annotations BEFORE class, so we can offer you in-person comments DURING class.

Therefore, please do the following by Tuesday, October 30th:

  1. Watch the CRAAP test video below.
  2. Watch the annotation video below.
  3. Finish your NoodleTools citations and ADD ANNOTATIONS: include a reference source, an academic article, and a book.

To the right you can a box with an example topic, research strategy, and citations with annotations. We expect your citations and annotations to follow the same format. Be sure to include an evaluation of the source using the CRAAP test method AND a synthesis section describing how the resource will be applied to your research project.

See you next week!

Luke & Greg

1. CRAAP Test

Whether you're finding information on the web, in a book, or in scholarly articles, every resource should be evaluated to ensure it's content is appropriate and beneficial to your research. The CRAAP Test is one way to conduct this evaluation.

Here is a PAPER COPY for you to download of the CRAAP Test.

2: Going from Research Topic to Annotated Citation

To write an annotation, you must have the actual source/book/article in front of you. Books must be pulled off the shelf! Articles must be viewed full text!

To begin, skim-read the major parts of the resource: subject headings, abstract, table of contents, chapter/section headings, introductory paragraphs, charts/graphs/images, and summaries/conclusions. Then, once you've identified the parts that are most useful to your research, read those carefully and take notes for what will eventually be incorporated into your paper/presentation.

Your annotation should include two parts, each two-to-three sentences long:

  • Evaluation: Use the CRAAP Test. What factors helped you to determine this was a quality, relevant resource for your research?
  • Synthesis: What information, provided by this resource, will you incorporate into your paper/presentation?

Sample Topic, Thesis, Research Questions, Source Selection, Keywords, and Annotated Citations

Topic: Bike Commuter Infrastructure

Thesis: Bicycle lanes in Salt Lake City are inconsistent in their layout, execution, and maintenance, causing in unsafe and unpleasent conditions for all commuters and, ultimately, thwarting the city’s long-range plans to increase bicycle commuting. Salt Lake City can improve its infrastructure—resulting in an increase in the number, diversity, and consistency of bike commuters—by implementing successful innovations developed in national and international cities with mature bicycle commuter systems.

Reference Source: I need background on bicycling as a mode of transportation.

  • Keywords: bicycling, cycling, bike, transportation, commuting, alternative.
  • Citation: "Bicycling." Encyclopedia of Energy. Oxford: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2004. Credo Reference. Web. 14 October 2013.
  • Annotation, evaluation: This encyclopedia article was written by Charles Komanoff, “a consultant and authority on U.S. energy, transport and environment; bicycling; and the social and environmental costs and benefits of competing energy and transport modes.” It provides a good overview of issues: a history of bicycles and bike commuting, global policies and practices, safety and dangers, and bicycles’ relationship with energy consumption. It also includes a glossary of terms, provides several data charts, and cites 16 books, articles, and public policy reports.
  • Annotation, synthesis: This resource will support my thesis by providing historical information about how bicycle commuting waned throughout the first half of the 20th century (alongside the growth of the automobile industry) and has had a resurgence world-wide since the 1970s, and in the United States since the 1990s. It also provides information about the benefits of a multifaceted approach to urban cycling infrastructures and civic policies.

(Note, the remaining citations have a single annotation that includes the evaluation and synthesis.)


Book: Which cities around the world have well-established bicycle commuter systems?

  • Keywords: cities, city, metropolitan, urban, United States, international, Europe, bicycle commuter, transportation systems, infrastructure.
  • Citation: Wray, J H. Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008.
  • Annotation: This book was written by J. Harry Wray, a Political Science professor at the University of Chicago.  In his book, Wray discusses grass-root and international efforts to promote sustainable commuting through biking.  There are interviews with local bike groups and national politicians like Jim Oberstar. This book will support my thesis by providing examples of how people and government are working to change the transportation industry.  The book contains examples from around the world of how the increased interest in cycling is changing the way governments are thinking about urban transportation.


General/Subject-database article: What influences commuters to choose bicycling over cars or mass transit?

  • Keywords: bicycle commuting, influences, decision, motivators, factors, attitudes
  • Citation: "Exploring Bikeability in a Metropolitan Setting: Stimulating and Hindering Factors in Commuting Route Environments." BMC Public Health 12.1 (2012): 168-183. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
  • Annotation: This 2012 article reports the findings of Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences researchers who explored the factors that influenced bike commuters in urban areas. These factors include: age, gender, physical and mental health, education, employment, income, access to alternative modes of transportation, and the environment (cycling infrastructure, noise, pollution, congestion, scenery, and safety conditions). This resource will support my recommendations for specific environmental changes to Salt Lake City’s cycling infrastructure that will have the greatest impact on influencing commuters to choose cycling over automotive transportation. It also provides a number of charts, graphs, and images that I will incorporate into my final paper.


Architecture-database article: What are some successful examples of urban planning redevelopment that address transportation?

  • Keywords: urban planning, city planning, development, redevelopment, transportation, alternatives, mass transit, public, commuters.
  • Citation: Levine, Jonathan, Aseem Inam, and Gwo-Wei Torng. "A Choice-Based Rationale for Land use and Transportation Alternatives: Evidence from Boston and Atlanta." Journal of planning education and research 24.3 (2005): 317-30. ProQuest. 14 Oct. 2013 .
  • Annotation: This article makes the case that planners and architects need to plan development that accounts for transportation other than automobiles.  New development considerations may include “urbanist neighborhoods, transit villages, job-housing balance, and ‘smart growth.’”  This article was written within the last ten years, and has been published by a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal. This article will support my thesis by augmenting my argument that Salt Lake City needs to make a change.  The development that is discussed within the article can be applied directly to Salt Lake City and its surrounding suburbs.


Government resource: How does Salt Lake City’s master plan address bike commuter infrastructure and policy?

  • Keywords: Salt Lake City, master plan
  • Citation: Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City Planning Division. Salt Lake City Master Plan: Existing Conditions Analysis. Salt Lake City: n.p., 2013. Print. 
  • Annotation: This is a publication written by the planning division of Salt Lake City.  The report is the result of exhaustive research done by the city over the last eight years and covers a broad range of topics that will directly impact city residents and visitors.  Topics include an up-to-date summary on land use, transportation, public art, urban form, demographics, etc. This resource will support my thesis by providing the most current information that has been released about transportation, city life, and demographics in downtown SLC.  Additionally, this document attempts to summarize the vision for the future of the city, and I can use this information to make suggestions that fit within this paradigm.
Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library