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ENG 246: African American Literature I

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.

Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.

Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?

Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic? (OWL Purdue).

Definitions

Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are written by scholars of a particular subject, whom are considered experts in their field.

  • Tip: Scholarly articles usually have an abstract (description of what you'll find in the article), charts/graphs, and a full biography or citation list.

Substantive news articles are reliable sources of information on events of the day/time or issues of concern for the general public or world. Articles from these sources are usually vetted (or double-checked) for credibility. 

  • Tip: Substantive new articles included a date and time posted with a byline (name of the writer of the article) at the top of the article. If a correction is made to the article, it will include a revision date and time. The correction is noted fully at the bottom of the article.

Popular articles are articles relating to entertainment for the general public, usually these articles are produced by corporations for profit.

  • Tip: Popular articles include advertisements (ads), usually, more ads than articles. These ads and the articles themselves are colorful Revisions are noted with date and time, but corrections aren't often noted. The byline is included at the bottom of the articles.

Tabloids "articles" relate to entertainment news but are used to generate a reaction from the general public. These "articles" are often false. 

  • Tip: No byline is included. No sources. Often linked to an opinion on a current social issue, no other sources mentioned.

MLA 8th Edition

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook is now available. The new style guidelines for the works-cited list have been simplified. It's no longer necessary to consider the publication format of the work being cited. Instead, create an entry using MLA's list of core elements, in the order specified.

Consult the following resources for help using MLA's 8th edition:

MLA's Core List of Elements

Image from MLA Style Center

Evaluating Resources

Video from Western Libraries, 2012.

CRAAP Method

Video from BMS LMC, 2016.

Analyzing Historical Sources

Video from History Skills, 2019.