Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography is a list of sources (five or more) that you will be using to inform your field research and ethnographic essay. The list will consist of full bibliographical information for each source, formatted according to APA style, followed by a paragraph that summarizes the findings and methodology of the source and its relevance to your research project. The purpose of the annotated bibliography will be to find out what your own field research contributes to the existing research on your research topic.

The sources must be scholarly articles or books accessed through the library databases (for instance, Academic Search Complete). They must be sources that report on field research—interviews and observation—related to your own research topic or field site.

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Tips:

  • Use APA citation style. Consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab for APA style guidelines: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_style_introduction.html
  • Seek the most up-to-date research on your topic or research question, but don’t overlook older, classic studies. Consult the reference lists of your sources to find more sources.
  • Avoid popular publications: newspapers, magazines, and online news and other information outlets. Use the library databases, not Google, to find scholarly or peer-reviewed sources.
  • Write full-fledged paragraphs of five or more sentences to summarize each source. Keep direct quotations to a minimum in your summaries.

Here is a sample entry of an annotated bibliography for a paper about the history of the general strike in America. (A general strike is a simultaneous work stoppage occurring in several places or industries at once.) Note that the bibliographic information is formatted according to APA style. Note also that the entry includes a summary of findings, analysis of methodology, and statement of relevance.

Du Bois, W. E. B. (1998). Black reconstruction in America, 1860-1880. New York: Free Press.

In this classic study, first published in 1935, sociologist and philosopher W. E. B. Du Bois analyzes the period of Reconstruction after the American Civil War. Beginning with an analysis of the Antebellum American racialized class system, Du Bois finds that white and black workers, including enslaved workers, were pitted against one another in this system in the service of a small oligarchy of Southern plantation owners and Northern industrialists. He also finds that enslaved African Americans during the Civil War emancipated themselves through the process of a general strike. Examining the successes of Reconstruction and the conservative backlash that followed, Du Bois famously argued that “[t]he slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery” (p. 30). Du Bois’s methodology is archival research interpreted through the framework of Marxism. However, Du Bois departs from traditional class analysis of Marxism, analyzing rather the intersection of class and race in America. Du Bois’s study relates to my project on race, class, and the general strike in the United States; following Du Bois, I argue that the Civil War saw the first general strike in U.S. history.

 

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