Step 1: Annotated Bibliography (due 4/3+4/9)

STEP 1: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY (due Friday April 3 at 11pm in OAKS)
REVISION due Thursday, April 9 at 11pm in OAKS

The annotated bibliography must contain at least 10 secondary sources (7 of these must be critical resources such as articles or book chapters; bear in mind that if you use two chapters from one book, that counts for two sources, with each one listed separately on the Annotated Bibliography). Only 1 of your sources for the annotated bibliography may be an article assigned for class discussion. You may, however, in your actual paper use more than 1 from class discussion. [If you’d like to make a case for more than one from class on your annotated bibliography, email me.]

See this site for assistance with works cited entries.

Your annotation should begin with a traditional works cited entry for the item.

That should be followed by a cohesive paragraph of 6-10 sentences including the following:

1. Introduce the source by indicating what kind of item it is (journal article, book chapter, interview) and the nature of the larger source (book, journal) in which it appears.

2. Summarize, to focus primarily on the aspects of the source’s argument and information that you are likely to make use of in your own essay.

3. Offer some analysis, where you process the material you’re summarizing and situate it in terms of other ideas you’ve encountered in your reading.

4. End with evaluation, considering the purposes of the annotation (recording your sense of the worth of the source to the essay you’re planning to produce). Here you will also indicate to me what you anticipate the role of this item to be in the paper you’re working toward.

Following is an example of just one annotation (which should be double-spaced, unlike this example):

Strohm, Paul. “The Social and Literary Scene in England.” The Cambridge Chaucer Companion. Eds. Piero Boitani and Jill Mann. New York: Cambridge UP, 1986. 1-18.

This is a chapter from a book collection that contains essays by more than ten scholars, all of them addressing aspects of Chaucer’s artistry, life, culture, or literary texts. Here, Paul Strohm provides a concise overview of Chaucer’s cultural milieu (especially the “Literary Scene” of the title) and of events (focusing on “The Social…Scene”) in Chaucer’s life. He also discusses the literary conventions that influenced Chaucer’s writing, the audiences “for who[m] he wrote, and in what ways he expected them [his texts] to be promulgated” (5). The essay concludes with a discussion of Chaucer as a social poet, stating that while “Chaucer is neither profoundly topical nor profoundly historical, he is nevertheless profoundly social” (13). It is on this conception of Chaucer, as a commentator on late medieval English society, that Strohm focuses. His essay seems to have its roots in the conventional nineteenth-century belief that Chaucer’s importance as a writer stems from his skill as a story-teller and a recorder of medieval life. The chapter’s usefulness lies in its brief summary of the historical and social highlights of the era; I don’t find his essay to be particularly analytical, but instead more descriptive. If I find I would like to use one, this could serve as a good example of the kind of Chaucer scholarship that was primarily interested in the real experiences of the real man, so far as we can reconstruct him, we have come to know as Chaucer.

Link here to a sample student annotated bibliography from a Chaucer class I taught.

My concerns in grading your annotated bibliographies will be:

a. how well you are following MLA conventions for works cited entries (30% of the grade)

b. what the items you have selected demonstrate about the thoroughness and depth of your research thus far (10 % of the grade);

c.  how well the annotations represent the item you are describing, summarizing, and evaluating (60% of the grade).

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