You are required to turn in six annotations for sources used in your Researched Argument essay. Your entries should begin with your MLA or APA citation, a paragraph for your summary, a paragraph for your analysis, and a paragraph for your discussion of implementation.
Good annotations will be at least two-thirds of a page or more, with specifics in each paragraph.
Annotated bibliographies expand on works cited or reference page entries, adding summary, description, analysis, and evaluation for each source. An entry may only be a few sentences, serving to sum up a text without offering insight into the source or explanation of how the source applies to our research. Consider this example:
Barnard, Ian. “The Ruse of Clarity.” College Composition and Communication. 61.3 (2010): 434-451.
Critical evaluation of the concept of “clarity” in student writing. Article examines several definitions of “clarity” currently used in academics and the possible impact on effective college writing.
The above is an example of a descriptive annotation, in which the author avoids expressing an opinion about the text. In other words, a descriptive annotation focuses on summary.
Most annotations, however, provide more than summary, and commonly synthesize opinion, analysis, and explanation of applicability and implementation to our writing project.
For this class you will do this expanded form of annotated bibliography. There are four key parts you are required to include in each annotation:
- Citation in MLA or APA style. Please refer to an appropriate reference text or website. Please alphabetize all entries, and use your citation style consistently.
- Summary: A detailed summary of the source. Include all main perspectives and points; readers should come away from this section with a clear understanding of the source. (One paragraph of at least several sentences.)
- Analysis: A thoughtful and critical analysis of the source. Your annotations should include more technical language (claims, warrants, appeals, etc.) the further we progress in the class. Some sample questions that might help you are: What are their claims, supports, and warrants and how effective are these? What appeals are they using? What proofs are they using? What is missing from their argument? What is strong? Why is it strong or weak? How do you perceive someone from an opposing viewpoint reacting to this? What credibility does the author have? (One paragraph of at least several sentences.)
- Implementation—how does this source and their argument contribute to your research/papers/arguments? What specifically will you use? Be sure to quote/summarize important points. If you will not use it, why not? For a source you will not use, was there anything that could still contribute to your research? (At least a few sentences.)
By the end of your annotation readers should have a clear overview of the source, an understanding of its key parts, and an understanding of why you chose the source.
Example of an evaluative annotation:
Alwes, Karla. Imagination Transformed: The Evolution of the Female Character in Keats’s Poetry. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993.
A comprehensive study of Keats’s struggle to define his ideas and relationship to women and poetry. Alwes looks at how Keats’s identity emerges through female characters, and how that identity evolves over the course of his writings, his poetry in particular. Her analysis is organized linearly, beginning in 1817, and progressing through his poetry and letters to “Fall” and “To Autumn.” Alwes studies the differences between the Mnemosyne of “Hyperion” and the Moneta/Mnemosyne of “Fall,” looking in particular at the shifts of intensity and character development. Two ideas overlay Alwes approach to Moneta/Mnemosyne: the presence of evolution of androgyny in Keats’s poetry, Moneta/Mnemosyne representing the end product; and, the role of the male character and male idealism in gender.
Despite Alwes’ thorough consideration of Keats’ poetry and personal history, a clear critique of Romantic patriarchal influences emerges in early pages. Alwes’ emphasis on androgyny, for example, seems to suggest Keats used poetry to explore repressed insecurities about gender, insecurities influenced by his relationship with Fanny Brawn and by the death of his mother. Surrounded most of the time by men like Hunt and Shelley, who both defined yet existed outside of masculine ideals, Keats, Alwes implies, struggled to find his own identity within the often-feminine aspects of poetry. Viewed in a historical context, Alwes’ assessment carries a modernist bias against the social hierchachy of the nineteenth century. The applicability of Alwes’ analysis must therefore be interpreted through a post-modernist framework.
In answering my original research question, “What is the role of Moneta/Mnemosyne,” I cannot dismiss the significance of gender and patriarchal influence on Keats and the characters. Alwes’ insights into Keats’ struggle with gender identity lend credibility to other critics’ claims that Keats’ poetry, particularly his fragments, served as much as an outward indication of his insecurity as an inward exploration of identity, will lend further credibility to other sources and will allow me to contrast gender to my argument about the shift of Keats’ authorial presence from epic to introspective.
Other examples may be found in the Supplemental Documents folder in Blackboard.
The goals of this assignment are to practice evaluating sources critically and to demonstrate your ability to find and use sources in rhetorical writing.