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Learning objectives:  1) Practice finding appropriate resources for a scholarly paper & 2) develop note taking skills for material to be included in a review of the literature. 

Instructions:  Using the format for note taking presented in the power point slides (labeled Writing a Literature Review), select thirty sources and take notes from at least fifteen of these sources.  The fifteen sources you annotate should be limited to peer-reviewed, scholarly articles that are sociology.  The remaining fifteen sources are your choice and may include book chapter from an edited volume, books, or government document or policy briefs. They might also include scholarly articles from other related discipline.  This is a good time to think about how you would frame your article within sociological theory.  We can talk about this in our weekly meeting.

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Deliverable:  A document that includes the citation and appropriate notes for each paper or chapter used in the assignment. 

4/10/2021 Sample ASA Annotation – Annotated Bibliography – LibGuides at Eastern Nazarene College

https://elearn.tnstate.edu/d2l/le/content/8509903/viewContent/72220349/View 1/4

ENC Learning Commons / Annotated Bibliography / Sample ASA Annotation

Annotated Bibliography URL: https://libguides.enc.edu/writing_basics/annotatedbib

Definition and Descriptions

Evaluation Tools

Parts of an Annotation

Sample Annotations

Sample APA Annotation

Sample ASA Annotation

Sample Chicago Annotation

Sample MLA Annotation

American Sociological Association (ASA) Annotations

Creating an annotated bibliography

in ASA style

The Publication Manual of the American

Sociological Association is kept behind the IRC

Desk on the Ground Floor.

General guidelines

Some annotations are merely descriptive,

summarizing the authors’ qualifications,

research methods, and arguments. Your

professor might also ask you to identify the

authors’ theoretical frameworks.

Many annotations evaluate the quality of

scholarship in a book or article. You might want

to consider the logic of authors’ arguments, and

the quality of their evidence. Your findings can

be positive, negative, or mixed.

Your professor might also want you to explain

why the source is relevant to your

assignment. Some instructors require you to

identify the authors’ theoretical models as


More Sample Annotations

The Memorial

University of


presents these

examples of both descriptive and critical annotations.

Cornell University

Library offers these

examples of both APA and MLA format descriptive bibliographies.


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Research Tools

Find Article


Find Books

Citation Help

Grammarly 



Catalog 

Full Text Finder


Sample Page: ASA-formatted

annotated bibliography

Battle, Ken. 2007. “Child poverty: The evolution and

impact of child benefits.” Pp. 21-44 in A Question

of Commitment: Children’s Rights in Canada, edited

by K. Covell and R. B. Howe. Waterloo, ON:

Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Ken Battle draws on his research as an extensively-

published policy analyst, and a close study of some

government documents, to explain child benefits in

Canada. He outlines some fundamental assumptions

supporting the belief that all society members should

contribute to the upbringing of children. His comparison of

Canadian child poverty rates to those in other countries

provides a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian

society is doing a good job of protecting children from

want. He pays particular attention to the National Child

Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve the criticism

it received from politicians and journalists. He outlines the

NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, including its dollar

contribution to a typical recipient’s income. He laments

that the Conservative government scaled back the program

in favour of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), and

clearly explains why it is inferior. However, Battle relies

too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary

author of almost half the sources in his bibliography. He

could make this work stronger by drawing from the

perspectives of others’ analyses. However, Battle does offer

a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter

provides a concise overview of government-funded

assistance currently available to parents. This offers context

for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child

poverty in Canada.

Kerr, Don and Roderic Beaujot. 2003. “Child Poverty and

Family Structure in Canada, 1981-1997.” Journal of

Comparative Family Studies 34(3):321-335.


4/10/2021 Sample ASA Annotation – Annotated Bibliography – LibGuides at Eastern Nazarene College

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Sociology professors Kerr and Beaujot analyze the

demographics of impoverished families. Drawing on data

from Canada’s annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the

authors consider whether each family had one or two

parents, the age of single parents, and the number of

children in each household. They analyze child poverty

rates in light of both these demographic factors and larger

economic issues. Kerr and Beaujot use this data to argue


Rules! rules! rules!

The Publication Manual of the American

Sociological Association (1997) states the

following formatting rules, but check your

course outline in case your professor has other


All text should be double-spaced.

Reference list entries must have a

hanging indent (to do this in Microsoft

Word 2003, click Format, then Paragraph,

then Special, and choose Hanging).

There should be 1 1/4 inch margins on

each page.

Use 12 point Times Roman font, or a

similar serif font.

Start counting pages on the first page of

text, but numbers should only appear

from the second page onward (as 2,


Each paragraph should be indented.

The reference list is alphabetical by

authors’ last names.

When a work has more than one author, the

name of the first author is inverted (Lastname,

Firstname). The names of additional authors

are not inverted.

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Subjects: Business/Legal, Citations, Communications, How To…. Tags: bibliographies, citations, research



Spring 2021

Goals of a Literature Review

Demonstrate a familiarity

You become the expert

Show the path of prior research

Integrate and summarize—Where does your research fit into the corpus of knowledge?

Learn from others

Six Types of Literature Reviews

Context review –

Most common type, begins the research project and situates it in the research area

Historical review

Tracks how a concept, theory or method has changed over time

Integrative review

Summarizes the current state of knowledge, typically a “stand alone” study

Methodological review

Compares and evaluates the relative strengths of different methodologies

Self-study review

Student paper where the purpose is to demonstrate mastery over a subject area (e.g., special area exams in graduate school)

Theoretical review

Almost an analogy to the methodological review, but here different theories are contrasted on the basis of their assumptions, logical consistency and scope of explanation

Literature Meta-Analysis

Locate all potential studies on a specific topic

Develop consistent criteria and screen studies for relevance and/or quality

Identify and record relevant information for each study

Synthesize and analyze the information into broad findings

Draw summary conclusions based on the findings

Where to Find Research Literature

Periodicals – serious or popular

Scholarly journals – Sociological Abstract is my favorite search engine

Books, including book chapters

Dissertations – difficult to get as a student

Government documents

Policy reports

Presented paper – also difficult to get access to as a student—you often need to contact the author for full text.

Citation formats

ASA Format

Järvinen, Margaretha & Ravn, Signe. 2014. Cannabis careers revisited: Applying Howard S. Becker’s theory to present-day cannabis use. Social Science & Medicine: 100, 133-140.

APA Format

Järvinen, M., & Ravn, S. (2014). Cannabis careers revisited: Applying Howard S. Becker’s theory to present-day cannabis use. Social Science & Medicine, 100, 133-140.

Conduct a Systematic Literature Review

Define and refine topic

Design search

Locate research reports


Scholarly books

Dissertation – I am not a fan of using dissertations unless you are exploring a new area of research.

Government documents

Policy reports and presentation papers

How to Evaluate Research Articles

Examine the title

Read the abstract

Read the article

How to take notes

What to record

Organize notes

Beginning to organize your notes

Do you want to store your notes electronically or as hard copy

Collect your citation

This is a good time to consider a citation manger (e.g., end notes, refworks, maybe Word has a citation manager

What information to collect?

At the top of your notes record the author and date

Record the keywords of the study

A brief description of the study

The hypothesis, describing what the author means by each concept

What is the theoretical frame of the

The methods

Who comprised the sample, or was it a population

Was the paper qualitative or quantitative?

How did the author(s) gather their data, with a little detail

The finding – A three sentence description of what the authors found

This might also simply be another literature review

Using the Internet for Social Research


Easy, fast, and cheap

Links connect sources

“Democratizing” effect

Casts a wide net


No quality control

Not complete source

Often time consuming

Difficult to document

Distinguishing a good literature Review from a bad

A good literature review defines the scope of the research included (e.g., time frame or where referenced)

A bad literature review stacks the work reviewed by author, rather than by title

A good literature synthesized the literature in a reasonable manner, by subtopic, method or theory.

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