Annotated Bibliography

  

The purpose of this activity is twofold. First, it will help you hone your library research skills so you can locate books and journal articles to support your written work. Use this exercise to explore sources useful for your Final Project. Second, it will help you focus on analyzing sources by writing annotations. What is an annotation? An annotation is a brief commentary on a scholarly book, chapter, journal article, or primary source that summarizes its central points and main argument. This activity will help you learn how to identify and explain an author’s thesis statement in the case of scholarly articles, chapters, and books. By developing an awareness of thesis statements in scholarly works, you will be better able to formulate thesis statements in your own work. In the case of primary sources, you will identify key elements of the source that will help you analyze its significance. Attention to significance will help you refine your critical thinking skills and construct arguments that support your thesis statements. This is a collective endeavor; everyone contributes by posting annotations to build an annotated bibliography that we can all draw from when developing our work. For this activity, you are to look for a scholarly source that you find interesting and relevant to the week. Choose from the sources bundled in the HIS103 Research Guide website  for help finding appropriate sources. Another good place to look is among the supporting documentation that accompanies the weekly tours. Remember to think ahead about your Final Project as you make your choices. Follow the Annotated Bibliography Builder Template. Fill out the information outlined on the template.
his103.annotated_bibliographybuilder.template.pdf

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APA Reference for Your Article, Chapter, or Book
APA Format for Journal Article:
Last, F. M., & Last, F. M. (Year Published). Article title. Journal Name, Volume (Issue), pages.
Example:
Mendoza, Veronica (2010). How to cite a journal article. History of Citation, 62 (4), 56-75.
Format for Chapter in a Book:
Last, F. M. (Year Published). Title of chapter. In F. M. Last Editor (Ed.), Title of book/anthology (pp.
Pages). Publisher City, State: Publisher.
Example:
Mendoza, Veronica (2010). How to cite a journal article. In J.K. Holloway (Ed.), A Brief History of Citation
(pp. 56-75). Philadelphia, PA: Major University Press.
Format for Web Page:
Last, F. M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL
Example:
Mendoza, Veronica (2010, June). How to cite a journal article. Retrieved from
http://www.abriefhistoryofcitation.org
For further guidance with APA references, including examples for other kinds of sources, go to the
Ashford Writing Center’s Common APA Reference List Models.
Where to Find Sources to Review
HIS 103 Library Resources and Primary Sources (accessible through the online class)
Weekly Module Tours
HIS103 Week 1 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 2 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 3 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 4 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 5 Civilization Tour
What to Include in Your Article, Chapter, or Web Article Annotation:
1. Explain what makes your source scholarly:
a. What do you know about the author? Do a google search on the author; find their biography
at the place where they teach, look for their Curriculum Vitae (academic resume). What
information establishes them as a credible expert on this topic?
b. What are some examples of scholarly sources that are referenced and cited in this article,
chapter, or web article?
2. In your own words, what is the author’s thesis or the central focus? What would you answer if
you described what you read to someone, and then they asked “So what’s the point?”
3. List three main points the author makes to back up the thesis or central focus.
4. Explain how the author uses each main point to back up the thesis or central focus.
5. What Final Project question will you answer?
6. What specific part of your Final Project could this article or chapter support? Why?
APA Citation for Your Primary Source
Format for a primary source found on the Internet:
Original Author Last, F.M. (Year Originally Written or Published). Title of source. Retrieved from URL
Example:
Columbus, Christopher (1492). Extracts from Journal. Retrieved from
http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/source/columbus1.asp
**note: Columbus = original author; Halsall = website manager. Halsall is NOT the author**
**note: the journal was originally written in 1492—record this date, not a modern date of publication**
For further guidance with APA references, including examples for other kinds of sources, go to the
Ashford Writing Center’s Common APA Reference List Models.
Where to Find Sources to Review
HIS 103 Library Resources and Primary Sources (accessible through the online class)
Weekly Module Tours
HIS103 Week 1 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 2 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 3 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 4 Civilization Tour
HIS103 Week 5 Civilization Tour
What to Include in Your Primary Source Annotation
1. Explain what makes your source primary:
a. Was the source created close to the time of the event?
2. In a sentence or two, what do we know about this author (e.g., dates, social or marital status,
relevant places of residence, etc.)? You might need to get more information about the author!
a. Did the original author have firsthand knowledge of the subject at hand? Or, did he or
she report what others saw and heard?
b. What opinions or interests did the author have that influenced what was recorded?
3. What do we know about the source? When, where, and/or why was it created? What type of
source is it (e.g., treatise, law code, letter, journal, etc.)?
a. For what purpose was the piece originally written?
b. For whom was the piece originally directed? Did the writer produce the source for
personal use, for one or more individuals, or for a large audience? Was the source
meant to be public or private?
c. What were the author’s motivations for writing? Did the writer wish to inform or
persuade others? Did the writer have reasons to be honest or dishonest? Any ulterior
motives? What might they have been?
4. Why is this source important?
a. What was going on at the time and place that the source was created? What are the
most important issues closely associated with this source?
b. What broader themes does or could the source address that provide insight into the
period under consideration?
c. What impact might the source have had in context of its time and/or place?
d. How would you use this source as a piece of historical evidence?
i. What does this source tell us?
ii. What strengths does this source have as historical evidence?
iii. What limitations does this source have as historical evidence?
iv. What questions does it leave unanswered?
v. What other sorts of evidence might support it?
5. What Final Project question will you answer?
6. What specific part of your Final Project could this primary source support? Why?

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