some tips on the annotated bibliography step

I just wanted to reflect briefly on your “simple bibliographies” and include some tips for the next stage. I was really pleased with the work you did, collectively, and wanted to call attention to a few exemplary bibliographies that shine a light on different aspects of the craft of research:

  • Saida‘s has a great discussion of the way her topic mutated as she went digging for materials. There’s kind of an art to keeping one’s mind open while searching/reading, looking for ways to refine or revise the direction of the topic or argument, and Saida pulls that off here nicely.
  • Dora’s uses a range of different databases and gives a nuanced description of her search strategy.
  • Adriana starts with a suitably “weird” topic–the role of food and eating in TBE–that requires some out-of-the-box searches and sources. So if you are also plowing new ground, she gives a good example of how to proceed.

Pro tip: steal each other’s stuff! Of course I don’t mean this in the sense of plagiarism as you start to actually write, but recognize that research can be collaborative (and should be). Stand on the shoulders of those who have dug in the same or nearby fields! Many of you are working on, say, incest in Ellison and/or Morrison. So in addition to doing searches, comb through the blog posts of peers and see who found something useful that you didn’t find! We scholars who do this for a living do this all the time…

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  1. Pingback: capstones: thinking about final projects | LitHub@Hunter

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