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what is an annotated bibliography
  • An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to different written works (i.e., books, articles, and documents). Each citation is followed by a brief summary (usually about 150 words) that describes and evaluates the work (the annotation). The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the findings of the work, relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source.
  • Minimum of 25 citations
    • 10 books (from a range of years)
    • 10-15 journal articles
    • Up to 5 unpublished reports
  • All citations must be academic/scholarly
  • Annotations must be critical
what is an academic source
What is an academic source?
  • Look for the following clues to help you decide if a source is academic or "scholarly":
  • written by experts: while journalists are expert writers, scholarly articles are written by experts in a particular field like anthropology, literature, medicine, law, etc..  An author's credentials (PhD, MD, etc.) and affiliation (university, laboratory, hospital, etc.) should be listed. 
  • cites many sources: just linking to other websites or suggesting further reading is not enough--the author must have supported their new research with other peoples' research.
  • "peer-reviewed" or "refereed":  when an article is peer-reviewed or refereed it is reviewed by other experts in the field to make sure the research was done properly.  You might not be able to tell from an individual article if it has been peer-reviewed--in many databases you can use the “refine search” feature to help narrow your search to academic sources but you will still need to make sure the articles you select meet the other criteria above.
annotations vs abstracts
  • Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
what use is a annotated bibliography
What use is a annotated Bibliography?
  • Often in a graduate program you have to write a thesis or dissertation. The first stage of the process is choosing a research topic, then you must familiarize yourself with the literature on that subject so you can develop a research question and method of answering the question.
the importance of working with literature
The Importance of Working with Literature

Working with literature is an essential part of a research process that:

  • generates ideas
  • helps form significant questions
  • Provides a benchmark for comparing results from other studies
  • The following chart is one that I show my graduate students to help them understand the research process. In this class you will focus only on the first two branches of flow chart.
working with literature

Working with


Find it!

Manage it!

Use it!

Review it!

Knowing the literature types

Reading efficiently

Choosing your research topic

Understanding the lit review’s purpose

Using available resources

Keeping track of references

Developing your question

Ensuring adequate coverage

Honing your search skills

Writing relevant annotations

Arguing your rationale

Writing purposefully

Informing your work with theory

Working on style and tone

Designing method

Working with literature
finding the literature
Finding the literature

Make sure you find a broad range of literature. Don’t just look at They don’t have all the relevant journals. Use a variety of databases to find timely and relevant material.

For example:

Social Science Citation Index

Academic Search Premier

finding literature
Finding literature

Don’tgo it alone!!

When looking for literature be sure to call on the experts such as:

  • librarians
  • other researchers
  • practitioners
mapping the literature

(in)Equality in the Judicial System





White v. non-white

Threat perception



Minority Specific

Judicial perception



Minority v. Minority.

Access to resources



Judicial elections


Stages of the Process

Mapping the literature
intersecting areas of literature





▪ background literature

moderate relevance

high relevance

 highest relevance

Intersecting Areas of Literature
annotating sources
Annotating Sources

Annotating your sources provides you with a record of relevant literature. It should include:

  • the citation
  • The problem and purpose of the study
  • Brief information about the sample/population, etc.
  • Key results
  • critical commentary
  • notes on relevance that remind you of the significance, accuracy, and quality of the source
  • Methodology (i.e., quantitative; qualitative)
strategies for doing an annotated bibliography
Strategies for doing an annotated bibliography
  • What technique will you use to assemble a sample of the relevant literature.
strategies for a review of the literature
Strategies for a Review of the Literature

Techniques to assemble a sampling frame of the literature

1. nonsystematic browsing (snowball technique)

2. systematic-catalogue/databases; journal indexes

Types of Samples

1. complete inventory (beyond the scope of this class)

2. representative review of the literature

- pertinent to the problem

- bears directly on the problem

- major articles (i.e., highly cited)

- major and conflicting ideas, viewpoints, facts, opinions

- a balance of all of these things

one more thing
One more thing

I will also need a photocopy of the cover page of the books you are examining and the first page of the journal article.

one more thing really
One more thing (really)

You also need a one page introduction that briefly describes the literature you found (i.e., patterns, contradictions, etc.).