Annotated Bibliography Assignment (RAS WRITER)

(Research is based on proposal and hypothesis you submitted) 

Link: 

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

In writing your final research project you will be required to support your hypotheses with at least 6 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles and/or books (from a non-”pop” publisher, e.g., an academic press). The purpose of this is to situate your research within the broader domain of previous work on (or near to) your topic. For this assignment, you will do six annotated bibliographic entries in order to get a jump on the literature review.

Writing an annotated bibliography is a good start to possessing the knowledge necessary to speak definitively on your topic. An annotated bibliography simply consists of a reference of the research being reviewed and a brief summary of its contents. I have included two examples below:

Zaller, John R. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Boston, MA: Cambridge.

Where does public opinion come from? The elite and media control the discourse in the country, and in doing so have a very influential role over opinion formation. This influence, though, is conditioned on the level of political sophistication. Low-sophisticates do not pay attention to politics and political media, so are unlikely to be influenced, while high-sophisticates pay much attention but have prior opinions that are difficult to move. It is people at average levels of sophistication that are most impressionable: they pay attention to politics but don’t have well-established opinions, and as such are more easily persuaded. The book does a good job of talking about both institutional (media) and psychological (individual) mechanisms of persuasion, but glosses over much of the extant research on media effects that had been established by the time of publication.

Eulau, Heinz, and Paul Karps. 1977. “The Puzzle of Representation.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 2, 3: 233-54.

This work examines the concept of representation, identifying its four component parts: policy, service, allocation and symbolic responsiveness. The authors criticize Miller and Stokes (1963) for explaining only one component of representation (policy responsiveness); Miller and Stokes argued that representation was positively correlated with policy congruence. Eulau and Karps argue that there are other forms of representation, mentioned prior. Because citizens know little about policy, measuring representation simply by congruence between representative and the represented falls far short of explaining the variation in representation. As they state,  “An individual or group may disagree with the representative’s position and behavior on an issue of public policy and, as a result, may be unrepresented in this sense; yet, the same individual or group may be well represented by a person who is responsive by attending to their particular requests for some type of service” (235). The article does a decent job of capturing the nuances of representation beyond simple policy responsiveness, and identifying when they matter.

Components of an Annotation

There are three main components of these annotations (three points adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab, accessible at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/01/):

Summarize – An annotation should present a brief and useful summary of the work, especially as it relates to your research. Many articles and books will not be entirely in-line with your research, but still contain relevant information. This is the information that should be summarized (you will notice that a large part of the examples I have provided consists of summary).

Assessment – Critically assessing the work is another important component. Do the results mesh with other findings in the broader research field? Do the authors do a good job of answering their research question(s)? Is it a useful source for your own research?

Reflection – How does the research fit into your own research? Do the conclusions of the authors support or oppose your own hypotheses? Has it led you to think about your topic in a new light?

Assignment Guidelines

State your research question and hypotheses at the top of the page.

Research six academic sources that are relevant to your research question/hypotheses, and write an annotated bibliographic entry for each.

Create your actual references using the citation style of your choice (if you don’t have a preference, use the APSA guidelines, which can be found on D2L).

Read and critically assess each work in order to create your annotated bibliography. For books, it can be helpful to look for academic reviews within scholarly journals, as they will often cover the main points fairly well.

Helpful Points

Use JSTOR to research works related to your topic. It can be accessed through the APSU Library page (http://library.apsu.edu) by going to Search and Find > Article Databases > A-Z List of Databases and is accessible both on- and off-campus. Both journal articles and academic book reviews can be found there.

If you are looking to cast a wider net, Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) is a great resource, though if you are off-campus it can be more difficult to get actual articles from this search engine. Still, it can be a good jumping off point, especially in the search for relevant academic books.







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