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LEP 100: Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography, you ask, and what's the point of this assignment?

Annotated bibliographies are an alphabetized list of sources on a given topic that include brief commentary about each source. 

Your annotated bibliography assignment is designed to help you focus on gathering and evaluating resources. While you won't have to write a research paper in this class, the skills you are learning and practicing in LEP 100 should help you with papers in other classes.  The annotated bibliographies in this class are a modified version as you are asked to do three things:

1) Write a brief summary of the article. (This is common in annotations)

2) Evaluate the source using the CRAAP test. (Specifically using the CRAAP test is not common in annotations, but rather the skill we want you to practice in LEP 100)

3) Explain why you would or wouldn't use the source in a paper. (This is common in annotations)

The following are examples of annotations of sources we gathered for our research topic about the health benefits of chocolate. 

Newspaper Source Example

Laderoute, L. (2015, January 26). The health benefits of chocolate. St. Joseph News – Press. Retrieved from  https://login.ssuproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1648460426?accountid=28768

This article provides information about the health benefits of cocoa and dark chocolate.

This article was published in January 2015 which is current enough for my research topic, although I’ll also look for more recent information since it is a health topic and there may be new research that has revealed new findings. The information is relevant to my topic as it directly addresses health benefits of chocolate. However, the article is only a page long and is written for the general public. While this is from a newspaper with an editorial process, I am a bit concerned about the authority due to the author being a staff writer and not a health expert. The author references research, but since this is from a newspaper, there aren’t citations nor does the author provide any specifics about where the research originates, so I am unable to verify the accuracy. While the article would have been reviewed editorially for writing, I’m not certain how much content was reviewed. The purpose of the article is to inform the general public about health benefits of chocolate. There doesn’t appear to be any bias associated with this article.

I might use parts of this source to demonstrate the health benefits of chocolate, but I wouldn’t cite extensively from this source due to its lack of an authoritative author and lack of sources cited.

Journal Source Example

Schneider, C., & Strawbridge, E. (2012). Chocolate and Cardiovascular Health. Integrative Medicine Alert, 15(10), 109-114.

This article reviews several studies that explored the health benefits of chocolate. The authors purport there isn’t a definitive chocolate product to offer to patients for cardiovascular health benefits.

This article was published in October 2012 which is borderline acceptable for my health-focused topic. What is more concerning is the article is primarily a review of other studies and the data of those vary from 1995-2012. The publication is very clear that the information is intended for health professionals and not for nonprofessionals, so some of the information is a bit advanced for me. The information provided is directly relevant to my research topic about the health benefits of chocolate. The two authors are medical doctors and so are the article editors and peer reviewer. I have no concerns with the authors’ authority, but I’m not familiar with the publication, Integrative Medicine Alert. When I did an internet search for the url listed on the article (www.ahcmedia.com) it brought me to a different site (www.reliasmedia.com). That site claims to be a major provider for continuing education for physicians, nurses, and other health care providers. The focus of the publication is on alternative medicine, yet the article is primarily a review of prior studies published in a variety of medical journals. The authors evaluate each study for bias as well as the information provided. The article demonstrates accuracy through several citations, a peer-review process, and is free from bias unless the viewpoint of alternative medicine is considered bias. The article’s purpose is to inform other health professionals about the potential health benefits of chocolate as addressed in previous studies. The article specifies that the authors and editors do not have financial ties to the information.

I may use some information from this article, or I might go directly to one of the newer studies highlighted in this article to cite information about the health benefits of chocolate.

Book Source Example

Orey, C. (2010). The Healing Powers of Chocolate. New York: Kensington Publishing.

This book covers several aspects of chocolate to include the history, composition, health benefits, and uses.

This book was published in 2010, and though it seems current enough for the history of chocolate and ways to use it as an ingredient, my research topic is on health benefits and that aspect could have changed since 2010.  I will continue to look for more recently published books.  This book has a section titled “Why is Chocolate So Healthy” which is directly relevant to my topic.  It is written in very conversational language for a lay-person, and not written in technical language meant for a medical, health, or nutrition professional. Cal Orey is the author, and the back cover lists her website.  On her website I found she has an MA in Creative Writing, which I think makes her a good writer but not necessarily an expert in healthy foods and nutrition.  Her name is a play on the word “calorie,” which makes it sound made up and not credible in a serious way.  The bibliography cites some scholarly articles, but the most recent are dated 2008.  She also cites fiction novels and herself three times, which has me concerned about how accurate and reliable the information really is.  The purpose of this book seems to be to inform, but her tone of writing is very light-hearted so I also think it is to entertain.  I also think it is to sell her other books (this book is one of the books in the “Healing Powers” series) and the last chapter is comprised completely of places to buy chocolate.  I can’t tell that the information is biased in health aspects, but the fact that she’s selling a series of books and promoting businesses where you can buy chocolate has me suspicious. 

I will not use this book to support my topic of the health benefits of chocolate.  The author does not have credentials or expertise in this subject.  The citations are not entirely from scholarly articles and those that are are at least ten years old.  Also, her conversational tone makes the book seem more for entertainment than credible information.