GUIDELINES FOR THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Guidelines for the Annotated Bibliography
As indicated in the syllabus, “Information Literacy” is one of the goals of this First Year Seminar. The purpose of this assignment, along with the scheduled library instructions (Feb 22, Feb. 24), is to teach you how to assemble a bibliography, to encourage you to feel comfortable using the Healey Library’s print and electronic resources, to enable you to discover, evaluate, and use different forms of research material.
"Annotated" means that your entries will include descriptive comments on your sources. Say what the entry is about and how it might help you research your topic. These should be no less than three sentences. Write more if you need to do so, but four or five sentences should be sufficient. Use your own words: quotations are unacceptable.
Type this assignment. You may use any consistent format, but a correct bibliography must list items alphabetically by the author’s last name. For an article or web page that has no author, list it by the first word that is not “the” or “a” in the title. See below for examples.
Topics: You will not write a research paper for this class, but you should think of this project as practice for choosing a topic and as practice for gathering research materials for one. This bibliography will enable you to locate appropriate items that could enhance your knowledge about your topic. One aspect of creating a bibliography before writing a research paper is to discover the kinds of sources and information that are available. Working on the bibliography may also enable you to determine whether your topic is too broad for study, if so, you need to narrow your focus.
By Thursday Feb. 17, please be prepared to tell me what your bibliography topic will be (you will be able to change this). Choose from the history, politics, and culture of the US since the beginning of World War Two. Consult the assigned readings and the syllabus for ideas. You may write your bibliography on any subject relevant to this course. Try to be as specific as possible, I will help you if need be.
To help you learn about the Healey Library and to get started we will spend all class periods in the Library next week on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and Thursday Feb. 24. Our library instructor is librarian Janet DiPaolo---she will lead the library lesson and she will be available to help you with this assignment, as will be Janine and I. During these sessions you will have time to work on this project in the library instructional room.
Guidelines: Your annotated bibliography must include 1 book, 1 journal article, 1 magazine or 1 newspaper article, and 1 web page or other internet only source, such as videos or music. This means your bibliography will have four entries. Do not list any dictionary definitions or encyclopedia articles (such as from Wikipedia), do not use any of the assigned reading or any of the items on the attached sample.
Among the things I will consider for the bibliography and annotations: the reliability and relevance of each source to your topic, the consistency of the format, the accuracy of each entry, as well as your ability to say what the source is about and how it might help your research. Important advice: To write your annotation you don't need to read entirely the items you choose.
The completed, annotated bibliography is due Thursday March 10. If you hand it in one class day after March 10, you may be penalized one letter grade (an A becomes a B and so on). I will not accept any further extensions. (Please let me know of any extraordinary circumstances that will prevent you from meeting the deadlines).
The grade for the annotated bibliography counts as 15% of your total course grade.
Sample Annotated Bibliography
This shows the types of required sources and how to list them. Note the basics: a list, in alphabetical order according to the author's last name, except where there is no author, the title is listed, the name of the item, the location and name of the publisher if it is a book, the name and date of the newspaper, magazine, or journal, along with the page numbers of the article, if it is from a periodical, and the address and date of access if it is a web page.
Freedman, Samuel G. The Inheritance: How Three Families and the American Political Majority Moved from Left to Right. New York: Touchstone-Simon and Schuster, 1998. This book follows the stories of three European immigrant families from the early twentieth century until the 1990s. We learn about how each generation struggled to achieve the American Dream. Freedman devotes attention to how World War Two created the attitudes of the second generation, and how the Vietnam War and the turmoil of the 1960s created the attitudes of the third generation of these families. This helps explain the anger of many of these people about the changes in our society since the 1960s, and why many, unlike their parents or grandparents, consider themselves political conservatives.
Park, Sue. S. “A Study in Tension: Gwendolyn Brooks's ‘The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock.’” Black American Literature Forum, 11.1. (1977): 32-34. I found this article using the “browse” link on J-Stor which linked me to journals about African-American literature. Then I searched for “Gwendolyn Brooks.” This is a complicated essay that uses an almost line by line reading of this poem, first published in 1960, to show how Brooks’s technique expresses her humane view of the old South. Park suggests that later in the 1960s Brooks’s views of white people changed, moving away from this more sympathetic perspective. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0148-6179%28197721%2911%3A1%3C32%3AASITGB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-K
Poetry Foundation. Archive. Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000). This web site from an established poetry resource includes a biography that discusses, in some detail, Brooks’s life and work, and a bibliography in several parts, which includes a list of her published work, items about her life and her work, There are also links to several of her poems, including some we read in class. This site not only introduces me to the range of Brooks’s work and life, but will enable me, using the bibliographies, to find more information about her. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=843. Accessed Sept 28, 2007.
Tan, L. Kim. “US Income Gap Widens.” Boston Herald January 19, 2000. 7. Illustrated with a map of the US, this article, based on recent a study of American incomes, gives statistics that show how the wealthy have gained and the poor have lost income in the past ten years. Interviews with prominent economists (including a UMass Boston professor) offer interpretations about why this has happened. This article supplements and confirms information in Out of Many that shows how tax and business policies from the 1980s to the present have tended to transfer wealth away from working people toward the rich.