Questions to ask yourself as you critically analyze the article:
Summarizing the argument of a source:
An annotation briefly restates the main argument of a source. An annotation of an academic source, for example, typically identifies its thesis (or research question), its major methods of investigation, and its main conclusions. Keep in mind that identifying the argument of a source is a different task than describing its contents. Rather than listing contents, try to account for why the contents are there.
To help identify the argument of your sources, consider the following things:
Here is a list of some verbs you might find useful for referring to texts and ideas:
Source: How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (courtesy of Cornell University Libraries)
Sample Annotated Bibliography (of one source):
Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.
The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.