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Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review Basics Jessica Barron Writing Tutor Writing Center Walden University


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Title: Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review Basics Jessica Barron Writing Tutor Writing Center Walden University

Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review
Basics Jessica Barron Writing Tutor Writing
Center Walden University
Session Overview
  • What are annotated bibliographies and literature
  • Overview of purpose
  • Expectations for format and organization
  • Strategies to fulfilling expectations

Session Vocabulary
  • You might also hear or see

Annotated bib or Annotation or Lit review All
of these terms are synonymous with annotated
bibliographies or literature reviews.
Annotated Bibliographies
  • What does the term mean?
  • According to Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary
  • Annotate to make or furnish critical or
    explanatory notes or comment
  • Bibliography the history, identification, or
    description of writings or publications
  • How do these definitions combine?

Annotated Bibliographies
  • The purpose of an annotation bibliography is
  • To learn about a particular topic
  • To demonstrate the value of a particular source
  • To inform fellow or future researchers about a
    topic or a source

Annotated Bibliographies
  • The format of an annotated bibliography can
    change depending on the assignment, but the
    typical format is a list of reference entries
    followed by annotations.
  • Alphabetized by author
  • No headings
  • Brief
  • Be sure to ask your instructor about any
    alternative expectations for your specific

Annotated Bibliographies
Annotated Bibliographies
  • Within each annotation, there are typically three
  • Summary
  • Critique/analysis
  • Application
  • These elements can often be formatted as
    three paragraphs.

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Summary
  • You will want to answer some or all the following
  • What is the topic of the source?
  • What actions did the author perform within the
    study and why?
  • What were the methods of the author?
  • What was the theoretical basis for the study?
  • What were the conclusions of the study?

Annotated Bibliographies
  • How to approach a summary
  • Similar to an abstract of a source
  • In the past tense
  • The authors found
  • Not the abstract of an article
  • Should be written in your own words

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Example Summary
  • Gathman, A. C., Nessan, C. L. (1997). Fowlers
    stages of faith development in an honors
    science-and-religion seminar. Zygon, 32(3),
    407414. Retrieved from http//www
  • The authors described the construction and
    rationale of an honors course in science and
    religion that was pedagogically based on Lawsons
    learning cycle model. In Lawsons model, the
    student writes a short paper on a subject before
    a presentation of the material and then writes a
    longer paper reevaluating and supporting his or
    her views. Using content analysis, the authors
    compared the answers in the first and second
    essays, evaluating them based on Fowlers stages
    of development. Examples of student writing are
    presented with the authors analysis of the faith
    stage exhibited by the students, which
    demonstrated development in stages 2 through 5.

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Critique/Analysis
  • You will want to answer some or all the following
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the
  • Methodology, language choices, organization,
    level of detail
  • What, if any, information is missing?
  • Is the article scholarly or generalizable? Why or
    why not?

Annotated Bibliographies
  • How to approach a critique/analysis
  • Focus on strengths of the article or study
  • What would make your reader want to read this
  • Do not feel the need to be nice
  • Your reader will want to know if there are any
    deficiencies or areas for improvement

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Example Critique/Analysis
  • The authors made no mention of how to support
    spiritual development in the course. They were
    interested in the interface between religion and
    science, teaching material on ways of knowing,
    creation myths, evolutionary theory, and ethics.
    They exposed students to Fowlers ideas, but did
    not relate the faith development theory to
    student work in the classroom. There appears to
    have been no effort to modify the course content
    based on the predominant stage of development,
    and it is probably a credit to their teaching
    that they were able to conduct such a course with
    such diversity in student faith development.
    However, since Fowlers work is based largely
    within a Western Christian setting, some
    attention to differences in faith among class
    members would have been a useful addition to the
    study. There was no correlation between grades
    and level of faith development.

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Application
  • You will want to answer some or all the following
  • Does this article fill a gap in literature?
  • How would you be able to apply this method to
    your area of focus?
  • Is the article universal?

Annotated Bibliographies
  • How to approach the application
  • Consider how you would justify the use of the
    source for your paper
  • How is this source different than others in the
    same field or on the same topic?
  • How does this source inform your future research?

Annotated Bibliographies
  • Example Application
  • Fowlers work would seem to lend itself to
    research of this sort, but this model is the only
    example found in recent literature. This study
    demonstrates the best use of the model, which is
    assessment. While the theory claimed high
    predictive ability, the change process chronicled
    is so slow and idiosyncratic that it would be
    difficult to design and implement research that
    had as its goal measurement of movement in faith
    development continuum.
  • These three elements create an annotation.

Annotated Bibliographies
  • There are some unique characteristics of which to
    be aware regarding annotations
  • No citations crediting the source or outside
  • The presence of the reference entry make citation
  • No direct quotes
  • Your reader will want to hear your interpretation
    of the material
  • No referrals to the first person
  • Be objective and removed in your description of
    the source
  • No reference list
  • All sources have already been included in the
    reference list format
  • Again, be sure to contact your instructor for
    his/her expectations for your particular

Annotations and Lit Reviews
  • How does an annotation relate to a literature
  • An annotated bibliography is often a precursor
    to a literature review, as it allows an author to
    collect sources and determine their value to a
    particular topic or area of research.
  • In a literature review, the author uses the
    sources to create a foundation for his/her

Literature Reviews
  • The purpose of a literature review is
  • To provide researchers with an overview on a
    topic or field
  • To allow a writer to demonstrate his/her
    knowledge on the current state of a topic
  • To support a writers future research

Literature Reviews
  • What is not a literature review?
  • A collection of source summaries or abstracts
  • A copy/paste of annotations
  • A discussion of your opinions on a topic
  • Instead, your job as the writer is to synthesize
    the literature to create that foundation for your
    research or argument.

Literature Reviews
  • What is synthesis?
  • Identifying patterns among the sources
  • Critically discussing strengths/weaknesses of the
    sources or in the field
  • Comparing and contrasting the authors findings
  • Interpreting what is known in your field and what
    is missing

Literature Reviews
  • Unlike an annotated bibliography, there is no
    required format for a literature review.
  • Common requirements
  • An introduction and conclusion paragraph
  • Helps transition the reader into the topic
  • No use direct material
  • Organization by theme rather than author

Literature Reviews
  • By author
  • Limits a paragraph to one source
  • Does not allow for direct comparison
  • Tends to come across as a series of book
  • By theme
  • Allows for a unique organization
  • Can have the authors talk to each other
  • Demonstrates the writers analysis of the

Literature Reviews
  • When organized by theme, writers can also use
    headings and comparative terms within the text.
  • Headings
  • Cue your reader to organization and changing
  • Note subtopics of themes
  • Comparative terms
  • Demonstrate where authors agree or disagree
  • Highlight your interpretation of the authors

Literature Reviews
  • Example Synthesis
  • As Stragalas (2010) argued, sharing specific
    details about the change will help to eliminate
    any difficulties. Steele-Johnson et al. (2010)
    echoed these sentiments when they reported that
    revealing all of the details about a change
    process can help those involved better understand
    and support the change. Steele-Johnson et al.
    also asserted that a high level of transparency
    during the change can help those involved prepare
    for and welcome the change. Similarly, Nahata et
    al. (2010) showed that transparency through
    excessive communication can allow for a wider
    range of acceptance of the change.

Literature Reviews Tools
  • Literature reviews require a lot of research and
    note taking. Thankfully, there are some tools to
    help you keep track of your material
  • Literature review matrices
  • Zotero

Literature Reviews Tools
  • Literature Review Matrices
  • Matrices are documents that allow you to compile
    details about your sources and begin to note
    similarities among the authors.
  • Example comparisons
  • Theoretical framework
  • Methodology
  • Conclusions
  • Implications or need for future research

Literature Reviews Tools
  • Example Matrix

Literature Reviews Tools
  • Zotero Reference Manager
  • While a matrix can help you make connections
    between your sources, the software Zotero can
    help you store and organize your references.
  • Library website and Zotero information

  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • Summary, analysis, and application
  • No direct quotes, citations, or use of first
  • Literature Reviews
  • Synthesis not summary
  • Themes not authors

  • Thanks for joining us this evening!
  • Use the Question box to ask for clarification
  • For more information on scholarly voice and
    academic communication, see http//writingcenter.w

  • Walden Library http//
  • Residencies http//
  • Center for Research Support http//researchcenter

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