An annotation briefly restates the main argument of a source.
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An annotation of an academic source, for example, typically identifies its thesis or research question, or hypothesis , its major methods of investigation, and its main conclusions. Keep in mind that identifying the argument of a source is a different task than describing or listing its contents.
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Rather than listing contents see Example 1 below , an annotation should account for why the contents are there see Example 2 below. McIvor, S.
This article discusses recent constitutional legislation as it affects the human rights of aboriginal women in Canada: the Constitution Act , its amendment in , and amendments to the Indian Act Sparrow This article seeks to define the extent of the civil and political rights returned to aboriginal women in the Constitution Act , in its amendment in , and in amendments to the Indian Act Sparrow , McIvor argues that the Act recognizes fundamental human rights and existing aboriginal rights, granting to aboriginal women full participation in the aboriginal right to self-government.
Your annotation should now go on to briefly assess the value of the source to an investigation of your research question or problem. If your bibliography is part of a research project, briefly identify how you intend to use the source and why.
In order to determine how you will use the source or define its contribution, you will need to assess the quality of the argument: why is it of value? Keep the context of your project in mind. How is material assessed in your course or discipline? What models for assessing arguments are available in course materials?
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Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.
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Lamott, Anne. Anchor Books, Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic. In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun.
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Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class.
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Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.