For your research assignment in this class, you'll need to compile an annotated bibliography that surveys the scholarly literature on your topic. An annotated bibliography is a document that provides a summary and evaluation of the sources you have used. It may also include works you consulted during the research process but did not use.
Keep in mind that an abstract is not an annotation. An abstract is a summary of the source.
Why write an annotated bibliography?
An Annotated Bibliography consists of these parts:
Write the annotation in complete sentences. If you quote text from the source, cite it. The average length of an annotation is about 100-150 words.
Most research questions do not exist in a vacuum nor are academic books and journal articles isolated, self-contained packages of information. Rather, every academic text represents one intersection in a network of ideas and debates that scholars have been tracing through their writing, sometimes over long periods of time. Think of each academic text (including the one you are writing!) as one contribution to a scholarly conversation.
Practice: In this activity, we will examine the first page of a scholarly article to determine how a philosopher critically engages with their sources. As you read, consider the following questions:
When integrating research into your final project, your literature review should move beyond basic summarizing to focus on a critical analysis of the works you've reviewed and their relationship to your research question.
There are many ways for you to organize your literature review - chronologically, by thematic categories, methodological approach, major debates/conflict, or the position/argument of the author(s). Avoid simple lists and discussing each of your sources individually, and only use the chronological method if there is a clear chronological path of development in the research on your topic.
Practice synthesizing your sources thematically using the matrix below.