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Library Class Session 2/24
What is an annotation?
What exactly is an annotation?
Why does it exist?
- A note that comments on source
What is the point?
- To show you've read it, understand it, analyzed it, and applied it--whether to summarize, evaluate its use, or review it.
Why can't you just write a summary?
- We already have those--they're called abstracts. They don't ask you to engage with the text for analysis, evaluation, and application.
What are its parts?
- Summarize: What was it about, and what were the conclusions?
- Assess: The quality and usefulness of the source
- Reflect: How the information contributes to the body of knowledge and your own research
How to write an annotation
Critique while reading the source:
- Contribution to body of knowledge
- Writing style
- Insights and blind spots
- Additives (Graphs, illustrations, figures? Do these enrich your understanding?)
- Context of authority of the source
Critique while writing the annotation:
- Summarize the content--briefly.
- Explain why your selection was chosen--how does it interact with your research?
- Discuss the value of the piece--include all relevant points from the above.
Your writing style:
- Write using third person (avoid the use of "I" and "you").
- Support your points with evidence from the source.
Always check with your assignment requirements
- Your professor may want full-page annotations or may only want certain info in the annotations
- Craft your ideas into coherent, flowing sentences and paragraphs whatever the requirements
Standard paragraph-length annotations
It is generally standard for an annotation to be 200-250 words (one paragraph). Below is a real 7-source annotated bibliography. Check it out to see how the format and sentence structure work.
This is an example of one full-length annotation. Notice how, by the time the author reaches the end, they have answered all 9 of the Engeldinger questions.
Also notice how the answers to the questions are implicit--the student has written sentences that weave the answers together as a coherent annotation and not as a patched-together list of information.
In MLA style.
Looking ahead: advanced search strategies
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