The Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of the sources you have used in developing your research paper, with each source summarized and evaluated. Your annotated bibliography will discuss how the research process shaped your research paper thesis; in effect, it will offer a topic proposal as well as an overview of how various sources will help you develop your ideas in your research paper.
Note: If you fail to complete an annotated bibliography, I will not accept your research paper. No exceptions.
Your annotated bibliography will have three parts:
1) The introduction (300-500 words) explains your research process and how you developed your list of sources (why these sources and not others?). You should review at least ten to twelve sources before deciding which ones will be most useful for your paper. In your introduction, you should summarize not only the process of your research but also how the research informed your perspective and led you to the thesis of your research paper.
2) Complete publication information in standard MLA format. This citation is exactly the same information that will appear on the Works Cited page, included at the end of your paper. You should include a minimum of four sources, and I recommend looking at more than this required number of sources before you decide which four you will include in your annotated bibliography.
3) An evaluative summary of each work listed. This immediately follows the bibliographic citation for the source, and it has two parts. First, describe the source: What is it? Who wrote it? What is its main point? Why was it written? Second, evaluate the work in relation to your analysis. How does it apply to your research paper’s thesis? You should paraphrase specific points, and you might consider brief quotations as they are relevant to establishing the connection between the sources and your ideas. A good average word length for each evaluative summary is 150-200 words.
Sources: You must evaluate at least 4 sources located through the DCC Library database. When I grade the Annotated Bibliography, I will be looking for source variety, credibility, and relevance. This means you should choose sources that are:
Popular and academic publications (i.e. newspaper and magazine articles are considered popular publications while scholarly journals are academic publications).
Visual and/or audio. Radio programs and documentaries can provide valuable information. You don’t have to limit yourself to print texts.
Reliable. Use sources that have clear, reputable authors. You want information and opinions from experts. If no author claims the work, make sure that a reputable organization takes credit for providing the information that you’re using.
Timely. If a source is more than ten years old, you’d better have a good reason for including it in your paper.
Grading: Your annotated bibliography is worth 70 points.
Criteria to evaluate bibliography:
Thoroughness of the introduction. How well does it describe your bibliography and how you developed it? Does it demonstrate care and enthusiasm for your topic? Does it present a clear thesis statement for your research paper?
Types of sources. Have you found a wide range of source types? Are most academic, or are they general interest? Are the sources credible and reliable?
Effort revealed by results. Did you find the bare minimum number of sources, or did you conduct a thorough search? Did you find highly unusual, “creative” sources or sources that took time and effort to dig up?
Summaries. Did you describe each source thoroughly enough for the reader to gain a sense of it? Have you made the connection between the sources and your essay clear? Have you accurately paraphrased and/or quoted borrowed material using MLA-style documentation?
MLA Format. Is the complete publication information for each source presented in correct MLA format?
EXAMPLE ON HOW IT SHOULD LOOK*
(Note: This sample only has three sources and while your assignment requires four. And the sample is single- spaced with some spacing issues in the first source. MLA asks for double- space, 12, Times New Roman font).
Why Community Colleges Are Wise Investments: An Annotated Bibliography
America’s capitalistic approach to higher education seems to be limiting the nation’s future potential. My research suggests that expensive, private schools that select few and educate less may be widening the gap between the country’s rich and poor. If for-profit colleges and privatized universities are fueling inequality among citizens, then citizens who are for equality should not be supporting these institutions. I have found the following sources that contain information that can support my argument that our state and community colleges can serve effectively alone as the primary higher education system for our democracy.
(Note: This intro should go just a little further to summarize and synthesis some of the source material that follows.)
Allen, Drew and Gregory Wolniak.“Rising College Tuitions Hurt Campus Diversity.”
Newsweek, 29, April 2018, www.newsweek.com/college-tuition-diversity-rise-campus-904580.
In the Newsweek opinion article, “Rising College Tuitions Hurt Campus Diversity,” Drew Allen and Gregory Wolniak share the results of their research on college tuition increases during the last 14 years. They share this work to encourage a deeper look into the problems surrounding college affordability. Allen and Hill argue that affordability affects not only the accessibility but also the quality of higher education. The researchers claim that, contrary to what most consumers believe, paying more for college does not mean students will get a better education (3). The discussion of their work emphasizes that when tuition increases at public universities, the student bodies enrolled in these schools become less diverse. Allen and Wolniak claim that these increased tuitions costs therefore limit learning opportunities for students. This article offers me primary material in the form of quantitative data that links tuition increases to decreased diversity on campus. This data can support my claim that community and state colleges have more to offer than expensive private schools have to offer.
Bustamante, Chris. “The Risks and Rewards of Online Learning,” Practical Argument:
Short ThirdEdition, edited by Laurie G. Kirszer and Stephen R. Mandell, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017, pp. 224-227.
In his essay “The Risks and Rewards of Online Learning,” Chris Bustamante responds to the rhetorical question, “Is online education better than classroom education?”(Kirszner and Mandell 221). The main point of Bustamante’s essay, originally published in Community College Times, an online newspaper, is that online education is becoming increasingly more valuable, and if online programs are designed right, the value of online education could surpass the value of classroom education in meeting student needs (224). This source is relevant to my claim about the value of community colleges because Bustamante is describing an online education model delivered by a community college, Rio Salado College: “the nation’s largest online public community college headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.” Bustamante is an employee of this school and a developer of online curriculum. His expertise adds to his authority on his topic, but I am aware that his work may contain biased information as he may have a vested interest in promoting online education at the community college level. Nevertheless, his work is useful to me as a way to show how innovative and progressive community colleges can be.
Long, Bridget Terry. “College is Worth it—Some of the Time.” Practical Argument: Short
Third Edition, edited by Laurie G. Kirszer and Stephen R. Mandell, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017, pp. 45-46
In her article “College Is Worth It—Some of the Time,” economist Bridget Terry Long argues that a college education is a smart financial investment only when a student makes smart choices about where to go to school, what they should study, and how (and how much) they should pay (45). Because Long is a financial advisor, her voice and ideas found in this article can add credibility to my point that a community college education is a wise investment. Long’s article has helped me understand the criteria by which colleges can be evaluated as she discusses “selectivity” of colleges, the academic achievement of their students, and the focused curriculums that they offer (46). I can measure community colleges by the standards Long defines to show that while the admissions processes of many state-run schools are not very competitive, community colleges have high student success rates and offer career-oriented majors and tailored curriculum, with Bustamante’s Rio Salado College standing as just one example. The quantitative data in Long’s article is not current, so I will not incorporate it into my argument. Instead, I will find up-to-date figures to demonstrate how college costs today compare to the education’s potential value.
Checklist for Annotative Bibliography
Title your work.
Write 100- to 150-word introduction that expresses your working thesis (your tentative position on the topic you are researching) and synthesizes the sources listed in the bibliography. In other words, explain how the ideas in the sources you list connect with each other and with your own ideas. Emphasize the relevance of all the works cited to your research question.
List at least 4 sources that you intend to use in your argumentative essay. These sources should appear in alphabetical order. After each source citation, present a 100- to 150-word evaluative summary of the source. To fully evaluate the source, consider how the criteria discussed in class applies to each source.
You may ask the following questions to guide your evaluation:
What does the title of the source indicate about its intended purpose?
Does the source cover the topic in depth?
Where was the information published?
Is the language neutral (objective) or emotional and one-sided (subjective)?
Does the author cite and document sources? Does the author present primary material, secondary material, or a mix of both?
How timely is the source?
How credible is the author? If the source is anonymous, what do you know about the organization presenting the information?
Does the source present vague or sweeping generalizations without citing evidence to back up assertions?
Is the information accurate?
Are other viewpoints acknowledged?