Annotated bibliography project for 2010
For the written project and 80% of your course grade (two drafts at 20% each plus the final version at 40%), evaluate a variety of library resources by means of an annotated bibliography. Our focus throughout the course and for this project is on library research methods rather than the results of your searching efforts (i.e. the mining tools, drills and pickaxes rather than the scholarly gems that you'll ultimately seek with these tools as the basis for term papers, theses, etc.). Refer to the syllabus and individual class presentations to see examples of material that should be considered. While you may include materials that you have located in your research, the focus is on your evaluation of the library research tools you used to find them. One way to demonstrate the usefulness of a tool is to provide examples of the material you found with it, but most important in annotations are critical, comparative and evaluative statements about the bibliographic tools themselves. This is not a scavenger hunt, but is intended to be useful and have lasting value for your own work. You will bring together a number of disparate resources and demonstrate the relative value of these tools after you have employed them to advance your research. Use an abstract, the selections themselves and your critical, discursive annotations to assist you in providing a cohesive, contextual, narrative perspective to tie everything together.
- Two draft projects (Phase I: 20% of course grade; Phase II: 20% of course grade) are due in class on October 12 and November 2, 2010.
- Include 10-12 citations in your draft, annotating about half of these. A face-to-face consultation with the instructor regarding your bibliography is required for full final credit. I'm available for appointments while you're working on the drafts or (if you prefer) soon after they've been submitted, but you must arrange to meet with me (at a time of our mutual convenience, so don't wait until the last minute) before your final project is due. Evaluation of the draft will consider content and format primarily and allow feedback on the annotations; narrative annotations and effective responsiveness to my comments on the drafts will be emphasized in the final project grade. At my discretion, late papers may be approved prior to the due date, but such approval and any subsequent point penalties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Final projects (40% of course grade) are due in class on December 7th, 2010.
- An abstract, preface or introduction and annotations for at least 20 entries are required. I'll re-evaluate the content and form of the citations in light of how you've addressed and incorporated my comments from the drafts.
Required elements for the final project:
- Include an explanatory preface or abstract, stating the purpose of the bibliography (describe the bibliography and its value to your research rather than focusing exclusively the research itself) in no more than one page to set the context.
- A minimum of 40 citations will comprise the body of the project. Consistent and correct citation format (use the style guide for one of your own discipline's major journals) is required. Electronic sources also must be cited in proper, consistent format (use examples from the style guides listed below--please do NOT simply use the web site url of the platform, but rather be specific about which database you have employed in your searching).
- At least 20 of these citations should be annotated with anything from one sentence to a paragraph or so.
- At least 10 of these annotated citations should be substantive, critical notes on the value of research tools, the rest can be descriptive comments on the usefulness of the item or its value to your topic.
- Of these ten, select 2 from the following 4 resources presented in class to compare & evaluate:
- Africa Bibliography. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. Annual. 1984-1998. Z3501 .A37 Library West Reference;
- African Studies Abstracts. The abstracts journal of the African Studies Centre, Leiden. London: Hans Zell. Quarterly. 1994- DT1 .L37 Library West Reference;
- A Current Bibliography on African Affairs. Farmingdale, N.Y.: Baywood Publishing Company Inc. Quarterly. 1962- . Z 3501 .C87 Library West Reference;
- International African Bibliography. London: Mansell. Quarterly. 1977- . Z3501 .I54 Library West Reference.
Citation format and style guides
AAA Style Guide. 10th ed. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association, 1993 [electronic edition 2003 available at http://www.aaanet.org/pubs/style_guide.htm].
Chicago manual of style. 15th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Library West, Ref. Z253 .U69 2003 (latest ed. in Reference).
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 6th edition. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003. Library West, Ref. LB2369 .G53 2003 (latest ed. in Reference).
Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations. Gainesville: Graduate School Editorial Office, Office of Research & Graduate Programs, University of Florida. Available online at http://gradschool.rgp.ufl.edu/current-files/current-editorial-guide.pdf [Revised July 2006].
Page, Melvin E. 1996. A brief citation guide for Internet sources in History and the Humanities. Version 2.1. http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~africa/citation.html
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001. Library West (Reference Reserve) BF76.7 .P83 2001.
Style Guides for Writing & Citing Sources in Papers. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries, 2001. Available online at https://www.uflib.ufl.edu/hss/ref/style.html Updated September 22, 2005.
Turabian, Kate L. A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations. 6th edition. Rev. by John Grossman and Alice Bennett. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Library West LB2369 .T8 1996 (also in Reference).
Xia Li and Nancy B. Crane. Electronic styles: A handbook to citing electronic information. 2nd ed. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 1996. 213 p. Library West PN171.F56 L5 1996 Ready Reference and Reference Reserve.
Examples from past projects
Library of Congress. 1991. Library of Congress Office, Nairobi, Kenya. Quarterly Index to Periodical Literature, Eastern and Southern Africa.
This was a reasonably good source. Using key words X and Y, I came away with four citations that sound very interesting. Two that sounded the most informative and applicable for my research were...
Author. 1999. "Title." Journal of X Studies 24(4):153-168.
Found in International Development Abstracts. IDA is extensive, giving current reference to articles and journals. My research topic is time sensitive. XYZ is relatively recent and critiques of the latest research on impact/effectiveness of the programs are now being published within the last 5-7 years. IDA is an important resource for researching international development literature (a resource I had not known of prior to this course).
Africa Bibliography. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. Annual. 1984-1998.
Evaluated source for years 1996 through 1998. Most useful information found under specific country entries for X and Y under "current events." Author index also useful for [given] subject areas once you have developed a list [of authors working in these areas]. Unfortunately, with just a few exceptions, it seems to repeat most sources I already found electronically.
[A second student's evaluation of the same source:]
I chose 1985 to review because it was the height of the anti-Apartheid struggle. I thought the bibliography was very well organized both by country and subject, although the subject headings could have been better selected. It was heavily weighted towards the social sciences and each country had a selection of history texts, which was helpful. I found two new sources under the "Social Anthropology" subject heading for South Africa. One was X. The other book will be really helpful; it is an early study on Y.
International African Bibliography. London: Mansell. Quarterly. 1977-Present.
This collection is not as clearly organized as X. There is less distinction between categories and regions, making it harder to search. But like X, it has no specific category for Y, so I had to do roundabout searches to find pertinent information. The bibliography comes out quarterly and covers much of the same material as X, although it thankfully gives you some keywords to use to decide if the article/book is relevant to your research topic. Also, it mentions related entries located elsewhere in the bibliography. A nice feature of this bibliography is that it lists individual book chapters from edited volumes. Overall then, this source is extremely useful, once you get used to its unwieldy searching mechanisms. Some promising sources I found in this bibliographic set are the Z and AA pieces.