The purpose of this activity is twofold. First, it will help you hone your library research skills so you can locate books and journal articles to support your written work. Use this exercise to explore sources useful for your Final Project.
Second, it will help you focus on analyzing sources by writing annotations. What is an annotation? An annotation is a brief commentary on a scholarly book, chapter, journal article, or primary source that summarizes its central points and main argument. This activity will help you learn how to identify and explain an authorâ€™s thesis statement in the case of scholarly articles, chapters, and books. By developing an awareness of thesis statements in scholarly works, you will be better able to formulate thesis statements in your own work. In the case of primary sources, you will identify key elements of the source that will help you analyze its significance. Attention to significance will help you refine your critical thinking skills and construct arguments that support your thesis statements. This is a collective endeavor; everyone contributes by posting annotations to build an annotated bibliography that we can all draw from when developing our work.
For this activity, you are to look for a scholarly source that you find interesting and relevant to the week. Choose from the sources bundled in the HIS103 Research Guide website for help finding appropriate sources. Another good place to look is among the supporting documentation that accompanies the weekly tours. Remember to think ahead about your Final Project as you make your choices.
Follow the Annotated Bibliography Builder Template. Fill out the information outlined on the template and post it by Day 3.
What to Include in Your Article, Chapter, or Web Article Annotation:
1. Explain what makes your source scholarly: a. What do you know about the author? Do a google search on the author; find their biography at the place where they teach, look for their Curriculum Vitae (academic resume). What information establishes them as a credible expert on this topic? b. What are some examples of scholarly sources that are referenced and cited in this article, chapter, or web article?
2. In your own words, what is the authorâ€™s thesis or the central focus? What would you answer if you described what you read to someone, and then they asked â€œSo whatâ€™s the point?â€
3. List three main points the author makes to back up the thesis or central focus.
4. Explain how the author uses each main point to back up the thesis or central focus.
5. What Final Project question will you answer?
6. What specific part of your Final Project could this article or chapter support? Why?