An Annotated Bibliography which includes an APA formatted listing

An Annotated Bibliography which includes an APA formatted listing of articles to be used for the paper with an accompanying brief description of what each covers (to be written in the student’s own words—copying or paraphrasing the article abstract is not permitted) is due by the end of Week 3 of the course . The annotated bibliography worth 60 possible points and is part of the total Literature Review Paper points possible.
Below are a few notes on the construction of the annotated bibliography an assignment due at the end of this week and a key part of preparing for the writing of your literature review. The annotated bibliography assignment must be uploaded as an MSWord document attachment in the Assignments area.
You may not have ever had to construct an annotated bibliography before. It requires you to read and very briefly and succinctly summarize each article you plan to use for a literature review. It is like a micro-version of an article summary that only contains the bare essentials so that you can go back to it later while writing your paper and use the article micro-summaries in the bibliography to construct a layout, a road map of sorts, for your paper to determine the order and flow of the articles you collected for the paper and, thus, does not include a lot of details or an intro or conclusion. Bibliography entries each should be at maximum two brief paragraphs and ideally should be just one. Although you may elect to make longer personal notes about each article and keep them for your own use in the paper’s construction, think of yourself as Joe Friday on that old TV show Dragnet as you construct your annotated bibliography. Mr. Friday was a fictional police detective famous for saying, “I need the facts, ma’am (or sir), just the facts,” when he interviewed people of interest to his case. That’s what you will be writing for each annotated bibliography article summary, a detective in search of the facts and just the fewest facts necessary to capture the essence of the article.
An annotated bibliography is like an extension of an APA style “References” list of published sources used, like one would find at the end of any college paper only with the addition of a very brief summary paragraph (usually around 150 words) underneath each source listed. These summaries should include not just a synopsis of what you read in the article but also a statement or two about one article’s connection to another/others in relation to the larger paper. Summaries in the annotated bibliography may look very similar to an abstract that you have seen in a published article but the two serve different purposes. An author abstract tells readers what to expect when reading the article and isn’t in your words. In writing the annotated bibliography you will paraphrase (summarize in your own words as you have been required to do for other assignment in the course) the gists of several articles so you can refer to them once completed and get an idea how they relate to each other for use in your paper. Your prof uses the annotated bibliography to verify that you are working on (before the week it’s due) and are on track with appropriate articles for your literature review assignment.
Why bother to doing an annotated bibliography, beyond the reason of being required to for this class, if one has to summarize the articles in more depth during the construction of the paper anyway? Students, researchers and professionals involved in writing about a topic sometimes find a stack of articles, either literally if printed out or in electronic form if on their PCs or laptops, intimidating and/or unwieldy. The annotated bibliography helps one distill the information in a published article down to an easy to review amount of key components which can be used to get a sense, as you compare the brief bibliography summaries, of how your selected articles connect or don’t connect thematically with each other and to the literature review topic as a whole.
In writing your literature review, the articles you use in the main paper body have to be woven together such that you the writer and anyone reading your work can transition from one set of ideas from an article to the next set without disruption in the flow of concepts central to the paper; they can’t be just any articles on the topic. This is characteristic of a quality paper for any class. And sometimes when reviewing your annotated bibliography during the construction of your paper, an article summary will stand out as not fitting well with the others. This is very helpful because it clearly indicates a need to find a replacement for that article that’s a better fit because you won’t be able to incorporate the non-fit one into the paper in a logical and smooth order of flow.
Another side benefit of developing an annotated bibliography is that once you have completed your literature review paper and it’s time to construct your “References” list of sources to attach to the end of it as required by APA source citation and formatting rules, you already have that part of the work nearly done because each of your annotated bibliography article description paragraphs will be under an APA formatted corresponding article listing. All you will need to do when ready to construct and attach your References list to the end of your paper is pull out the summary paragraphs (after saving a copy of the full original bibliography doc first, of course), copy/paste what’s left into a page attached to the end of the paper, do a final check to make extra sure the page lists references in correct APA format and doesn’t include any descriptive paragraph content, place “References” (sans quotes and note that “Bibliography” or “Works Cited” wouldn’t be correct per APA rules) and, voila, you will have completed that portion of your paper!

The title, author(s), year date of publication, published source and publisher must be double-spaced in an annotated bibliography as the heading above each article very brief summary. The article summary underneath it is single-spaced, just as an abstract is single-spaced at the beginning of a published article. Annotated bibliographies do not contain quotes. If you need to, be sure to review the APA guides in the classroom Resources folder to ensure that your work contains no verbatim content taken from published materials.  Even if source credits immediately follow it, copying is plagiarism and will result in a zero score for the assignment and course failure for more than one incident of plagiarism. The annotated bibliography should be submitted with an APA formatted title page (no running header is needed for the title page of this assignment)

A final word about the literature review paper assignment the work toward which the annotated bibliography builds. Lit reviews aren’t the same as essay papers. A literature review’s primary focus is on describing the findings of evidence based (experimental)  research that has investigated a particular topic, synthesizing the information drawn from the research and showing how the articles are related, and generating recommendations for future related research based on what you learned while reviewing the articles as published literature (thus the name “literature review” rather than “essay paper”). An essay paper’s primary focus is on sharing with the reader knowledge about a topic and includes documentation (source citing) of materials used to show that you aren’t making up the information you are sharing. It doesn’t necessarily require that all the sources used in its development be evidence-based, experimental research reports.
An example from an annotated bibliography for a paper focused on family living situations and variability in sex roles is below to give you an idea of what the a bibliography entry should look like. Note the last sentence in the summary for this example, “In contrast, an earlier study by Williams, Barnes and Daniels cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.” It refers to an article not shown which would go below the Waite, Goldschneider and Witsberger (1986) article, because, as is the case with an APA formatted “References” list, articles in an annotated bibliography are arranged alphabetically by last name of first author of each article same as you would do with a References list; thus in this case, an article with Williams as the first author would be next on the list after one with Waite as the first author (also note when viewing this example that APA requires double line-spacing of References lists when they are attached to a full paper but the annotation [very brief article summary] in an annotated bibliography doesn’t have to be double-spaced—this is a rare exception to the typical APA rule requiring that the body of any writing assignment and its reference list be double-spaced). But more importantly, this sentence shows clearly how the example article summarized here and the next one that would follow would be connected by the common threads “non-family living” and “sex roles”, which are variables examined in both articles. This exemplifies what is meant by “thematically related.” Your articles don’t have to have all their ideas in common (that would be redundant and there would be not purpose in such cases to use two articles reporting essentially the same thing) but there should be a clear connection between them and this sample is a great example of that.

Finally, note that this example comes from a journal titled “Sociological Review”. The APUS Online Library, the source from which you must retrieve your articles has large holdings and many psychology journals. Your literature review must be focused on a topic of research in the field of psychology but you may locate a good article in a journal that doesn’t have the word psychology in its title. Gender Roles, The Journal of Personality, Marriage and Family Review, Health Psychology and the Journal of Vocation Behavior are examples of the many, many journals that are acceptable even though they don’t have the word “psychology” in their titles. You may want to check out the websites, http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/journal.html and http://www.ldb.org/soc-jour.htm

for an idea of just how many there are (and these sites don’t contain complete lists!). NOTE: There are numerous web links at these sites. They are to be viewed as examples that may take you to an actual full journal article or just an article summary and publisher details, and not all the journals listed on them are available in the APUS Online Library, which has librarians to assist you if needed and from which your articles must be selected.

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and
the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American

Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.

Summary: The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams, Barnes and Daniels cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

As always, if you have any questions about this assignment, ask away. There aren’t any wrong inquiries and if you have a question, it may be one that someone else has, too.

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