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Engineering Design and Practice Sequence (EDPS)

Information Resources and Management for Engineering Design and Practice Sequence (EDPS)

What is an Annotated Bibliography!

How to prepare an annotated bibliography

 

As you see from the video, an annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) 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.

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 may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.

The Process

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

  1. First, locate and record citations to books, journal articles, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your project topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  2. Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style (e.g. IEEE Style)
  3. Write a concise annotation (usuaully 150 words) that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work helps and support your project topic.

Critically Appraising the Book, Article, or Document

The annotations shoould show how you're critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, In addtion to initially examine the nature of the source from the Author, Date, Edition, Publisher, Title . You should examine the body of the source. Read the preface to determine the author's intentions for the book. Scan the table of contents and the index to get a broad overview of the material it covers. Note whether bibliographies are included. Read the chapters that specifically address your topic. Reading the article abstract and scanning the table of contents of a journal or magazine issue is also useful. As with books, the presence and quality of a bibliography at the end of the article may reflect the care with which the authors have prepared their work.

Annotation: Writing a reflection

In some assignments, you may be asked to include a reflection in your annotated bibliography. Most often, this is a reflection on how useful the source is for your own research or project for instance, if you are writing the annotated bibliography in preparation for an engineering design project). However, you could be asked to reflect on how the source relates to the themes in your research project It is important that you read your instructions carefully. In instances where you are asked to reflect on how useful the source is for your own research, you will usually write a sentence or two stating whether or not the source will be helpful, and a brief explanation of why or why not. 

 

Guidleines in Crtical Analysis of the Source Content,.. Please note this is an initial list and does not include all the areas that might be requested by any specific assignments

A. Intended Audience

What type of audience is the author addressing? Is the publication aimed at a specialized or a general audience? Is this source too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for your needs?

B. Objective Reasoning
  1. Is the information covered fact, opinion, or propaganda? It is not always easy to separate fact from opinion. Facts can usually be verified; opinions, though they may be based on factual information, evolve from the interpretation of facts. Skilled writers can make you think their interpretations are facts.
  2. Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched, or is it questionable and unsupported by evidence? Assumptions should be reasonable. Note errors or omissions.
  3. Are the ideas and arguments advanced more or less in line with other works you have read on the same topic? The more radically an author departs from the views of others in the same field, the more carefully and critically you should scrutinize his or her ideas.
  4. Is the author's point of view objective and impartial? Is the language free of emotion-arousing words and bias?
C. Coverage
  1. Does the work update other sources, substantiate other materials you have read, or add new information? Does it extensively or marginally cover your topic? You should explore enough sources to obtain a variety of viewpoints.
  2. Is the material primary or secondary in nature? Primary sources are the raw material of the research process. Secondary sources are based on primary sources. In the engineering and sciences, journal articles and conference proceedings written by experimenters reporting the results of their research are primary documents. Choose both primary and secondary sources when you have the opportunity.
D. Writing Style

Is the publication organized logically? Are the main points clearly presented? Do you find the text easy to read, or is it stilted or choppy? Is the author's argument repetitive?