Women in the civil war
An annotation has THREE parts (but brief – 1-2 sentences each):
Author Critique: Who is the author? Is s/he an expert on the topic? What are his/her qualifications? Does the author have a bias or particular angle shaping his/her interpretation?
Summary: What is the author’s main argument or interpretation about the topic? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? Summarize what you read.
Assessment: Why is this a useful source? How does it compare with other sources you have seen? How has it helped shape your argument or changed how you think about your topic? What key conclusions did you draw from it? Be SPECIFIC. What specific evidence does it present that relates directly to the specific topic? You should write: “This source is useful for X, Y, Z…” not just “This source was very helpful to me.”
A good annotated bibliography:
encourages you to think critically about: 1) the content of the works you are using, 2) the place of each source within your topic or field of study, and 3) each source’s relation to your own research and ideas.
proves you have read and understood sufficient sources.
establishes your research as valid and defends you as a competent researcher.
provides a way for others, if they read it, to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research (this last one is actually the #1 scholarly use of an annotated bibliography)
You will write THREE (3) annotations for 3 of your minimum 5 sources: one of a long secondary source, one of the Proquest or JSTOR article, and one of a primary source. Just list all other sources in the bibliography in Chicago format. An annotated bibliography is more than the usual bibliography. Each citation is followed by a brief (3-6 line) descriptive AND evaluative paragraph (the annotation). The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and websites that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those sources that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
Cite your books, JSTOR or Proquest articles, or authoritative web pages using the Chicago style.