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Assignment | Grant Proposal (Spears): Annotated Bibliography

Spring 2021 | GEOLH 1404 | Prof. C. Spears

APA: Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief description of the source in which you basically justify why that source is one of your sources.

You will summarize the relevant information you're getting from that source (but remember, this isn't your paper -- you are summarizing, not presenting all the information itself) as well as how this will help you in your research (by providing background information, by exploring a certain angle, by presenting a contrary idea...).

Creating an annotated bibliography is not simply an academic exercise. An annotated bibliography is a tool to help you summarize your source content and evaluate its place within your research. If a source satisfies your "usefulness" criteria, that source belongs on your annotated bibliography. This process begins the transition from reading sources to incorporating content (ideas, quotes, paraphrasing) into your work. It is time to "make sense" of the knowledge you have gained from your research. This knowledge is the foundation on which to build your own voice, explain your methodology, discuss your conclusions, make and report on your new knowledge. 

Of course, evaluation of sources goes beyond "usefulness" to the other elements of authority, credibility, currency, and purpose.


Consulted Saylor Academy's open access course on research concepts and the writing process:  Research Writing in The Academic Disciplines. Annotated bibliographies have additional purposes that depend on the intent of the writer/researcher and the specific discipline.  
  1. Citation
  2. Annotation is a brief and concise statement about the source. Think in terms of a "note" consisting of 5-6 sentences.
  • One sentence to evaluate why the author is an expert on the topic(authority).
  • A sentence on the intended audience of the source (purpose).
  • A few sentences (perhaps a paraphrase) that explain how this source will illuminate your topic and how you will use the content in your paper (usefulness or relevance).
  • Any other criteria of note for this topic or discipline? Gaps in knowledge, hints at future research

 

Using Information

Dinosaur image with text: You're saying, if I don't cite my sources, my A will be extinct?

Citation is the method of giving credit to information sources you use in your paper. Whether you quote directly from the source or paraphrase the ideas, citation lends creditability to your writing, protects you from plagiarism** and is an absolute requirement. If in doubt, cite!

There are two steps to creating a proper citation: the list of references at the end of the paper and the in-text citations. The in-text citation is within your writing. You state knowledge from a book or article and give immediate credit for the information you are using. In-text citations help connect your reader to the information you've included on your references page.                                                                                             

                                               

 

 

 

In APA style, in-text citations follow this basic format for articles:

(Lastname, year)   e.g., (Smith, 2013) 

In this example, the reader would know to flip to your References page and skim down the left margin until they saw "Smith," and there they would find the rest of the publication details to track down that same source for themselves.                                                              

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  PARAPHRASE. *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Incorporating the words and ideas from expert sources is done through paraphrasing the ideas into your own words or quotes that use the source expert's exact words. Most disciplines prefer paraphrasing ideas over quotes. Paraphrases require reading the source with understanding, so that, you can re-write the section without losing the meaning. More learning is involved. Whether paraphrase or quote, a citation is required.

Master this skill using the exercise below in the art of paraphrasing.

Original text from The Economist, 2017 :

A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.

How should you add this information to your paper?

Bad :(

"A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane" ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • Too long of a quote for a 4-page paper
  • Doesn't use any original content to introduce the quote or finish up the thought

Good!

The Kuiper Belt consists of icy chunks of frozen water, ammonia, and methane believed to be "leftover from the formation of the solar system," much like the rocky field of the asteroid belt ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • Only directly quotes what is needed
  • Original content introduces the quote

Best :)

Though both the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt are believed to be remnants of the solar system's formation, the Kuiper belt consists mostly of ice rather than rock, including frozen methane and ammonia as well as water ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • The source material is almost completely re-written
  • This would much more easily fit into the organization of my paper.

WORSE!

A bigger version of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble believed to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But while the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.

The Break-down:

  • No citation is given
  • Even if there were a citation, there are no quotation marks around the words repeated verbatim.
  • A few words have been swapped out for synonyms but this does not actually introduce originality.

Tips on Integrating Your Sources

Help! APA

APA Style Manual