English 808: Technology & Literacy – Task: Annotations for the WikiBib Project

Dr. Gian Pagnucci

Required Annotations

Each student is required to annotate 2 journal articles or book chapters. These annotations should be on a topic that falls within the broad scope of literacy and technology.

Once annotations are completed, they will be posted as part of the WikiBib Project.

Annotation Format

Most annotations should run about 1 page in length. If you are writing more than 2 double spaced pages, you are writing too much. Please follow the format below for your annotations. This format asks you to write 2 paragraphs per annotation and include a useful quote from your source.

  • Full Citation–Get in the habit of writing recording the full citation of every article and book chapter you read. If you take the time to read something, take the time to write a citation of that reading. Keep a master bibliography of everything you read that you can cut and paste from as you write papers and your dissertation. Don’t wait to write citations later. Get in the habit of writing them out now! You never know when you will need a citation for something you read.
  • Summary of the Article/Chapter–Write a short, 1 paragraph summer of the journal article or book chapter. When summarizing empirical studies, discuss what the goals of the research were, who the participants were, what the setting was, and what the key research findings were. For theoretical works, summarize the major theoretical ideas the author was developing in the chapter/essay.
  • Assessment of the Work–Write a 2nd paragraph discussing the quality of the chapter. It’s also helpful to give your reactions to the chapter and your reflections about the chapter in this paragraph. Again, this should be a short paragraph. How effectively has the author made their case? Do the findings of the study seem accurate and reasonable? Do theoretical positions seem to make sense? Also discuss any limitations or weaknesses in an author’s work. For instance, you might say that a study of American students doing online peer review in a MOO environment was accurate except that the author failed to consider the way students’ gender may have influenced their conversations. It is fine and helpful to point out problems with an author’s assessments. However, it is unfair to raise an issue that was outside the scope of a researcher’s study. So, you might criticize a researcher who fails to discuss the importance of the gender of participants. But it is unfair to say a researcher failed because they did not include any international students in the study. The study has to be judged for what it attempted to do, not what it could not do.
  • Key Quotation–Copy down 1 verbatim quote from the work that is well phrased or essential to the author’s argument or just really interesting. Be sure to include the page reference! It is also helpful if you can label this quote with a short heading reminding you that the quote is about education or student learners or email usage or whatever the subject is.
  • Annotator–Include your name as the writer of this annotation. You can also make a link from your name to your home page. Also please include the year in which you wrote the annotation in parentheses (2012).

Submitting Annotated Bibliography Entries

Students will submit their annotations electronically using the class wiki. It is helpful if you bring copies of your annotations to class in digital form (i.e. on a USB drive or emailed to yourself). Students will be taught how to use the wiki in class.

Be sure to ALWAYS SAVE A BACKUP of your annotations. Because wikis are collaborative spaces, it is easy for your posts to get inadvertently messed up by your peers. As long as you always keep a backup copy of your annotations, its not that hard to repair the occasional wiki wackiness.

Wiki Annotations Are Public

Please do your best to create clear, well edited annotations. Not only will this wiki be used by future English 808 students, but it will also be read by graduate students at other universities. So, when you write for the wiki, you are writing for a very public audience. Please keep that in mind as you work.

Sample Annotations

Resources on Writing Bibliographic Annotations

Citation Format Information

American Psychological Association (APA) Style
APA is generally the preferred citation format style for the C&T program. The reason APA style is preferred is that it emphasizes the year in which research was conducted and this is very helpful information to have when reviewing empirical studies. It is usually best to find studies which are no older than 10 years. Studies older than 10 years are generally only considered useful for providing historical perspective, though seminal works which have stood the test of time are well beyond 10 years in age.

Other Popular Citation Styles

Citation style preference often varies by instructor as well as by academic journal. So it is important to be familiar with the citation styles below (and often several other citation styles as well!).

Useful Journals

Good sources for articles include:

Bibliographies about Technology

For an (unfortunately) un-annotated list of references about technology, click the link below: