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SOC 318

Updated Fall 2020

Welcome to the SOC 318 Course Guide! 

Here you'll find information on ASA citation style, Annotated Bibliographies, and how to use the Paul Meek Library to locate scholarly resources. 

Annotated Bibliography Defined

Annotated Bibliographies gives researchers a great option for organizing research and sources, giving you a place to summarize your resources and store your thoughts on the credibility and usefulness of those sources. The annotated bibliography consists of a citation (the bibliographic entry) and the summary/evaluation (the annotation). 


While you can use various reference management tools (paid and free), annotated bibliographies can be created with any word processing tool, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Open Office, or others. 

Bibliographic Entry

For the purposes of this class, your citation should be in ASA (American Sociological Association) Style.  See the first column on this page for more information on this style.  Also, be sure to pay attention to your syllabus, assignment, and professor's requirements for formatting.  


Your assignment requires three paragraphs for each source:

  • Summary:  A summary is a brief overview of the source, including methodology and findings, but should avoid opinions and critique of the source. 
  • Evaluation:  Is the source reliable or credible?  Are the methods good, or did you notice anything wrong with the methods utilized?  Is the source valid?  Is it relevant to your research?  Going beyond a summary, evaluation allows you to voice your informed opinion on the resource.  When you're writing a research article or literature review, this evaluation can also be useful in determining how to utilize the resource (where it best fits in any arguments you need to make, descriptions of methodology, literature review, etc.). 
  • Usefulness:  Is the resource relevant to your work?  Does it fit within the scope of your topic?  Does the resource cover information that is too narrow or too broad for your topic? Remember, usefulness doesn't necessarily mean in agreement with you and your point. Some articles may even be useful if they have findings counter to your research results. 


*A note on why citations are great

Citations do help you avoid plagiarizing, by giving credit where credit is due.  However, they also put you in the position of the most recent speaker in an ongoing academic discussion. Citations allow researchers to trace back this conversation all the way to the beginning. In some fields, this conversation stretches back decades, even centuries. So, citations are certainly more important than you might initially believe. They help situate your voice in this ongoing discussion.