annotated bibliography

Topic and Annotated Bibliography.
Begin by identifying a question or area of interest for your essay. It is better to be focused than broad in approach and coverage. Feel free to reach out in advance of the deadline to meet with your instructor and TA about preliminary ideas for topics and if you need guidance on narrowing scope. You may select from among:

body cams and police brutality
surveillance and tactics of counter-surveillance (be specific about the context of surveillance and counter-surveillance)
the use of images in protest movements (pick a specific movement)
a topic of your own choosing. If you opt for this, you must get your Instructors approval.

Research. Once you have made your selection, research existing knowledge on this topic by reviewing 3 critical articles or books, at least 1 of which must be a scholarly or peer-reviewed source (they must be sources that you find outside course material.

Write an annotated bibliography of the 3 critical sources.

Each annotation should be brief (max. 150 words @ 3 sources = 450-word annotated bibliography). The annotated bibliography consists of:

a summary of the source
critical assessment of its argument, focusing on strengths and weaknesses
evaluation of its relevance and use for your topic

Please note that the topic and annotated bibliography are integrated into (they are the building blocks for) the proposal. All of these componentstopic, bibliography, and proposalmust all be submitted as one Word or Pages document on the same date. For details on the specific elements of the proposal, see below.


Any citation style listed here is acceptable, as long as it is used consistently.

Sample annotation. This example illustrates the format for your annotation as well as the elements to include in your annotation.

Breeding evil. (2005, August 6). Economist, 376(8438), 9. Retrieved from

This editorial from the Economist describes the controversy surrounding video games and the effect they have on people who use them. The article points out that most critics of gaming are people over 40 and it is an issue of age not of the games themselves. While the author briefly mentions studies done around the issue of violence and gaming, he does not go into enough depth for the reader to truly know the range of studies that have actually been done in this area, other than to take his word that the research is unsatisfactory. The author of this article stresses the age factor over violence as the real reason for opposition to video games and stresses the good gaming has done in most areas of human life. This article is a good resource for those wanting to begin to explore the controversy surrounding video games, however for anyone doing serious research, one should actually examine some of the research studies that have been done in this area rather than simply take the author’s word that opposition to video games is simply due to an issue of generational divide. This article provides a point of departure for my essay, as I plan to counter its argument and suggest

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