Proposal and Annotated Bibliography: Tips on Format & Content

See Assignment link for Assignment sheet and grading Details

How to approach writing the proposal statement in an annotated bibliography

Open your Annotated Bibliography with a 1-2 paragraph project statement (approx. 500 words) outlining your interest in the topic, sources found, and any findings that relate to a working thesis statement. You might write the paragraph last, or you might start with a rough, working proposal statement and revise it as you located sources that work well together to prove certain points about your topic. Use your assignment sheet and the rubric posted on Canvas to guide your work.

How to approach composing a 1 paragraph annotation of a source in an Annotated Bbiliography (each annotation will be approximately 75 words).

I. INITIAL APPRAISAL of credibility of source (Summarize)
A sense of why this article is trustworthy, and what insights it offered to the project overall. USE LIBRARY DATABASES to avoid credibility problems. (Credibility is particularly important with websites: Who wrote/published this? Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization? What are the basic values or goals of the organization or institution?)

II. CONTENT ANALYSIS of source (Assess and Reflect)
Which chapters, sections or ideas specifically address a topic of concern to you.  Explain why you chose this article and how you plan to use it. Do you have a sense of the target audience for the publication–a specialized or a general audience? Does this source sound too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for the needs of this assignment? Does the author strive to establish an objective tone, establishing strengths and weaknesses of sources, and do they seem to notice the tone of their sources? Write the annotation clearly in your own voice, do not cut and paste from an online abstract or other source (plagiarism: red flag!!)

III. MLA FORMAT
Avoid common errors like confusing citation format for books vs. journal articles, failing to list journal article databases, or forgetting to alphabetize sources by authors, last name, first.  Review format in a handbook or online at the Purdue OWL MLA website.

Sample Entry:
Bellafante, Gina. “60s Prejudice and Capitalism as a Big Blond Metaphor.” New York Times, 27 Feb. 2007, p. 2C.

This source about a 2007 revival of Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman offers helpful insight into how the play has held up over time. I used the source to establish key aspects of the play that stayed the same from the script to this stage production, therefore establishing main themes of the play. In particular, Bellafante suggests that Lula as a character is forgettable, a conclusion which I argue is not true in the script itself. I also use Bellafante’s description of this production’s elaborate use of lighting and sound to create a mood that might overwhelm the actors. Overall, this article was helpful in terms of adding depth to my analysis, and since it is from one of the most widely published newspapers in the United States, it offers trustworthy information on how Baraka’s work was seen 40 years after its first production.