FAI: Freedom and Authority on the Internet

Writing Assignment 4: Annotated Bibliography

Summary: In this assignment, you will create a bibliography that includes not just sources, but critical commentaries on the sources.

Due: 8:15 a.m., Thursday, 18 October 2007

To Turn In:

Purposes: I intend this assignment and your work for the assignment to provide a variety of benefits. In particular, I expect that they will

Background: Bibliographies serve many purposes. They ground your work in a broader community. They tell your readers that you've read widely on your subject matter. They remind you to read widely on a subject matter. They can even provide reading lists for those interested in a subject.

Those who use bibliographies as reading lists appreciate more than a simple citation as they decide where to read further. In particular, they benefit from your comments. When you add short comments to a bibliography, you produce a work we might call an annotated bibliography.

On the subject of annotated bibliographies, the Chicago Manual of Style says

When a bibliography is intended to direct the reader to other works for further reading and study, an annotated bibliography is useful. This is a list of books (sometimes articles as well) in alphabetical order with comments appended to some or all of the entries. The comments may be run in ... or set on separate lines.

Sample Bibliography Entries: Forthcoming.


1. Pick six authoritative sources that you anticipate using for your research paper.

2. Read each of those sources carefully.

3. Write a moderate-sized paragraph about each source. The paragraph should discuss the type of source (e.g., is it a journal article, newspaper article, opinion piece, etc.), point of the source, the authority of the source (e.g., background on the authors that might not be otherwise apparant), limitations of the source, and any other potentially interesting aspects of the source.

Audience: You are writing for your classmates. Your reader is generally interested in the subject of intellectual property, but perhaps not in your particular subarea.

Reference Guidelines: Please use APA-style references.

References Used: In writing this assignment, I referred to the following sources (not all of which I agree with).

Fischer, Gayle V. (2000). Web Project: Why Do Women and Men Wear Different Clothes? A World History Sourcebook: Annotated Bibliography. Online resource available at http://www.salem.mass.edu/~gfischer/abib102.htm (last modified 29 August 2002; visited 24 September 2003).

University of Chicago Press (1993). The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, 14th Edition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Williams, Owen (undated). Writing an Annotated Bibliography. Crookston Library, University of Minnesota, Crookston. Online resource available at http://www.crk.umn.edu/library/links/annotate.htm (last modified 7 March 2003; visited 24 September 2003).

Warning! Some online examples of annotated bibliographies repeatedly use the word I in the annotations. I would prefer that you keep yourself out of these paragraphs.



Wednesday, 24 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Monday, 29 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Tuesday, 30 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 19 August 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 6 October 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 16 August 2007 [Samuel A. Rebelsky


Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu