Creating an Annotation

Checklist of things to evaluate in an annotation. Not everything is important in each annotation but this is a list of things to look at.

·         Author (Name, occupation, education, experience, credentials, etc.)

·         Author Bias/Purpose (Any obvious assumptions, affiliations or points of view.)

·         Publication Date (Is it appropriate for your topic?)

·         Coverage (What are the main points covered? Are there time or geographical limitations?)

·         Intended audience (Scholars, students, or the general public- often the title is an indicator of audience)

·         Value added Content (Maps, photos, graphs, timelines, glossary, or a great bibliography.)

·         Other qualities that make this article or book relevant to your topic…

From the above criteria, compose an annotation for your bibliography:

Sample Annotation from the student bibliography: ”Marilyn Monroe- Cultural Heroine/Political Spoiler.”

Summers, Anthony. Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. New York: Free Press Inc., 1985

British Summers, a master of research and popular biography, was the first writer to gain access to the files of Marilyn’s psychiatrist. He describes Marilyn as a universal figure and a great acting talent with a penchant for self-advertising. Summers conducted over 600 interviews including friends of the Kennedys who were willing to say more about Marilyn after twenty years, his coverage is comprehensive. Summers also reveals that mobster Jimmy Hoffa had incriminating tapes involving Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn but choose not to use them in deference to Ethel and the Kennedy children. The most extensive and unique descriptions in the book involve the day of Monroe’s death. More recent biographies have all built on Summer’s earlier research revealed in this biography.