Annotated Bibliography Introduction And Conclusion Powerpoint

 

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Presented January 27, 2016

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Last updated 5/25/2017

Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. A captioning pod, Q&A pod, and files pod are stacked on the right side.

The slide says “Housekeeping” and the following:

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    • Send to writingsupport@waldenu.edu
  • Help
    • Choose “Help” in the upper right hand corner of the webinar room.

Audio: Beth: Hello, everyone. And welcome to the webinar today. My name is Beth Nastachowski. I am the manager of the multimedia writing instruction at the writing center. And I am just going to get us started by going through a couple of housekeeping notes before I hand over the presentation to Sarah who will be taking us through the session today. So, a couple of quick things to note about the webinar today, the first is that we are recording the webinar. And I'll make sure to post the recording, I’ll probably be able to do that by this afternoon in our webinar archives. So, if you'd like to come back and review the session or if you have to leave early for any reason, you’re more than welcome to access that recording.

Also note that there’s lots of ways for you to interact with us today. I saw that many of you were completing the poll that we had in the lobby and we’re going to have a couple of chat options where you'll be able to chat with each other and with Sarah throughout the session. But also note that there are also links to other resources and more information on our website and on our blog throughout Sarah’s slides here, so feel free to click those links to find out that additional information and bookmark those for access and for your perusal later as well. Also note that I have myself and my colleagues Amber and Rowland in the background, and we're gonna be monitoring the Q & A box which is on the right side of your screen. And I welcome you to submit any questions, comments, or if you have technical issues let us know in that Q & A box and we’re happy to help. I encourage you to submit those questions as soon as you have them throughout the session. That way, we can get you an answer as soon as possible. But also, that way that gives us a chance to ask Sarah some of the common questions we’re seeing in the Q & A box when and if she stops and has time throughout the session as well.

Note, however, that especially at the very end of the session if there are lots and lots of questions, and we just have to end the webinar because of time, we may not get to every question and so I do encourage you to email us at writingsupport@waldenu.edu if that happens or if you think of a question later on, we're more than happy to take those questions via email as well. And then also note, that there is a help button at the top righthand corner of your screen that’s adobe connects technical help button and I can help as much as I can or as much as possible in the Q & A box. But otherwise, that help button is a great place to go for technical issues. Alright. So, with that, I will hand it over to you, Sarah.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar: “Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Basics” and the speaker’s name, information, and picture: Sarah Prince, PhD, Writing Instructor & Coordinator of Embedded Writing Support & Design

Audio: Sarah: Awesome, thank you, Beth. As Beth said, I'm Sarah Prince, I'm a writing instructor and I’m also the coordinator of embedded writing support and design. And today, we're going to be going through some slides on the literature review and annotated bibliography. So, we’re gonna focus specifically on the annotated bibliography and how that can support or feed into the literature review.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: An Overview of Literature Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies

Purpose of each è Formatting &Organization of each è Writing Tips & Examples for each è Relationship between the two

Audio: So, first let’s just talk about an overview of what we’re going to focus on today. Specifically, we're going to talk about the purpose of both the annotated bibliography and the literature review. So frequently those are confused. Or sometimes, people think that one sort of feeds seamlessly into the next, but a couple changes have to occur. We're also going to be talking about formatting and organization of each and how those are different. Then I’m going to provide some writing tips and examples of each and then we're going to talk about the relationship between the two, perhaps the most important point of today’s discussion.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Alternative Names

Annotated bib = annotated bibliography

Annotation = part of annotated bibliography

Lit review = literature review

           

[Slide includes a picture of a woman sitting at a table, writing in a notebook.]

 

Audio: So, launching right into our discussion, I wanted to first address some names that you might have heard. Frequently annotated bibliography is shortened to be called annotated bib, so if you’ve heard your instructor reference an annotated bib, that’s simply an abbreviated way to say annotated bibliography. Another common term that students sometimes get hung up on is annotation. And that annotation is just the narrative part of the annotated bibliography.

Guys I’m getting some feedback. Do you hear that?

Beth: I did. I think it sounds okay now.  I think we’re good now.

Sarah: Okay. Thanks. I just want you guys to be able to hear what I’m saying. So, do let me know or let Beth know in the Q & A box if you have any problems with feedback.

So, again, the second part or the second term I wanted to talk about is the annotation. And that’s the just narrative part of the annotated bibliography. And we're going to talk about the two parts of an annotated bibliography, but again, the annotation is just the paragraph that you include after your bibliographic reference. And then finally you often hear literature review shortened to be lit review. And so, those are just some quick shorthand ways of referring to each of those elements in an annotated bibliography and also in a lit review.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: The Annotated Bibliography

Annotate: “to make or furnish critical or explanatory notes or comment”

Bibliography: “the history, identification, or description of writings or publications”

(Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, 2012)

 

More Resources!

Annotated Bibliographies

 

[Slide includes a picture of a sharpened yellow pencil sitting on a notebook.]

 

Audio: So, let's talk specifically more about the annotated bibliography. So, to annotate means, “to make or furnish critical or explanatory notes or comment.” So basically, when you are constructing an annotation you are summarizing a source and you're also highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. So, when you're annotating you’re creating that narrative part.  In a bibliography or a bibliographic reference, it’s just the way you provide the identification or a description of the writings or publications you're using. So, in social science writing and here at Walden, we use APA for our bibliographic reference. So, the bibliographic reference or the bibliography just refers to the reference itself, so that reference is gonna look exactly like it would in your reference list. It's just going to now be in the body of your paper. And that’s gonna go before your annotation. So, the bibliographic reference is the first component and then the annotation or that narrative component is the second part of the annotated bibliography.

And you’ll notice in some slides, you see this “more resources” and a hyperlink that you can click. We have a lot of information on the annotated bibliography on our website. So, I encourage you, after the presentation if you want to click on some of these great resources to do so.

 

Visual: Annotated Bibliography: Purpose

For your reader:

  • Teaches about a particular topic
  • Demonstrates a source’s value
  • Shows depth/breadth of research

For yourself:

  • Helpful note-taking and reflection exercise
  • Promotes analysis and critical reading
  • Preparation for a writing project

Audio: So, what is the purpose of the annotated bibliography? Really, it’s two-fold. You get some benefits from the annotated bibliography and your reader also gets some benefits from the annotated bibliography. So, for your reader, it teaches them about a particular topic. Right? Your annotated bibliography is gonna focus on a key research topic and you’re gonna pull lots of articles about—lots of articles, book chapters, lots of credible academic resources on that particular topic.

So, let's say I'm focusing on a research topic concerning the current refugee crisis in European countries, so I'm going to pull all the literature I can find, then I'm going to find these annotations or these summaries and analysis of individual articles and that's really going to bring my reader up to speed. Right? It's going to teach them about these particular topics because I’m providing those summaries for them. It also demonstrates a source's value. So, if I'm annotating a particular or–I’m providing an annotation for a particular article, I'm not only going to summarize that article, but I'm going to talk about the strengths and the weaknesses. So, maybe the author did a study, but the sample size was too really small to come to the conclusions he or she came to. So, that might be a weakness of that particular article. So, I’m looking at the source’s value. What were the conclusions? What is the strength of that conclusion? What might be some holes or weaknesses in the study? And then finally it shows the depth and breadth of research on a particular topic. So, if I find a lot of articles and I'm able to do a solid annotated bibliography for several sources, that means that there's a pretty wide breadth of information. But if I only can find a couple articles for which I’m doing an annotated bibliography for, that topic is really probably underdeveloped.

And then finally for yourself, I know a lot of students struggle with notetaking especially when you get further on in your coursework and you're writing papers like KAMs for instance or you're even working on that capstone and you have to keep track of a lot of different things that you've read, right? We're talking about 70 or 80 articles. Several book chapters. And you might be doing this reading over the course of months, maybe even a year or two, right? And you need to keep track of who said what, what author is responsible for what ideas, so an annotated bibliography can be a great way for you to take notes, right? Because that annotated bibliography is going to include a summary and it’s also going to include an analysis. So, the strengths or weaknesses of a particular article, or website, or book chapter.

And then finally, it's going to help promote that analysis in critical reading. A lot of times when students aren't taking notes or creating annotated bibliographies for what they’ve read, they tend to lose track of what they read. We might read the same sentence over and over and over and fail to really take it in. But if you're asking yourself to be able summarize that information and also critically analyze the information -- meaning pointing out what the author did well, what the author, you know, didn't do well -- that requires some focusing on that reading, it requires critically engaging with the reading which is really important. And then finally an annotated bibliography really can prepare you for a larger writing project, which might eventually be a lit review. Because basically if I'm reading 70 articles and I have annotated—if I have annotations for each of those articles, I’ve got a pretty solid basis for which to start a literature review or some other project because I've got notes on a wide berth of information.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Annotated Bibliography: Purpose

At Walden:

  • KAM Depth section
  • Course assignments
  • Prewriting for large projects

Audio: So, at Walden, why might you write an annotated bibliography? Well, you might write an annotated bibliography for a KAM Depth section. Sometimes, you have course assignments that basically ask you to create annotations for five articles or to create an annotated bibliography for ten different sources. You also might use an annotated bibliography, like I was talking about, to take notes or as a note-taking device for a larger project. So, you might be working on a literature review as part of a capstone or a larger document. For those purposes, you might be using an annotated bibliography to prepare yourself.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Annotated Bibliography: Format & Organization

Alphabetized list of reference entries + annotations

            Reference entry listed in alphabetical order.

                        Annotation of source in paragraph format.

Reference entry.

                        Annotation.

Reference entry.

                        Annotation.

 

Audio: So, what does it look like? We talked about that it's composed of two parts, and that is the reference entry and the annotation itself, which is that narrative portion. So, the reference entry, again, is going to be in APA format, just like you would construct your APA reference list, but it is going to be in alphabetical order and it is going to sit above the annotation. So here we sort of have a sequencing of how that might look in your annotated bibliography. So, this bibliography consists of three different sources. So, my first reference, an annotation below it, my second reference, an annotation below it, and then my third reference, and an annotation below it. And notice, those references are going to be in alphabetical order. So just like your reference list if it were at the bottom of the page.

 

Visual: The slide changes to the following: Annotated Bibliography: Format & Organization

Reference: Use proper APA format

Annotation: Use consistent paragraph format

  • 3 paragraphs: Summary, Analysis, and Application
  • 2 paragraphs: Summary/Analysis and Application

Depends on your purpose and faculty’s expectations

Audio: So, in your references, I know I’ve been talking about this again and again, but it's really important to use proper APA format. So, again, here's one of those useful hyperlinks. You can always check out our list of common references which is really helpful if you're sort of confused about how to construct that APA style reference or you just want to double check what you have so far. And then you're going to have an annotation. And you want to use consistent paragraph format for your annotations. A lot of times, students ask me, you know, what is the APA style for annotations? And the truth is, there is no real APA style for annotations, so a lot of this is instructor driven. A lot of instructors like to see three paragraphs of the annotation after your first reference.

So, your first paragraph would basically be a summary of the article, book chapter, website, that you've read, the second paragraph would be that analysis section where you’re talking about the strengths and weaknesses, and the third paragraph is gonna be the application. So how might this particular article that you’ve read or particular book chapter that you’ve read apply to what you're working on. So how might it inform—be applied to your writing. Other instructors like to see two paragraphs. Where in one solid paragraph you provide not only a summary but analysis of the source and then in a separate paragraph, you're going to supply an application. So how you can apply that source to your own writing or how that source informs your own writing. So, again, those could be three paragraphs, those could be two paragraphs. Again, that just sort of depends on your instructor's preferences or if you're writing this to get you ready for a larger writing assignment it sort of depends on your preferences, but the idea is that you want to be consistent. So, for each annotation, if you choose the three-paragraph model, for each annotation you want to have three paragraphs. If you use a two-paragraph model, for each annotation you want to provide two paragraphs. So, being consistent with how you annotate for each source is important in an annotated bibliography. And again, as I said, that depends on your own purpose and your faculty's expectation. And a lot of times students say, “well, my faculty wasn't really specific.” Well, ask your faculty. It's a fantastic way for you to show your faculty that you're really paying attention to assignment guidelines and you want to do things correctly. Most faculty will welcome that sort of inquiry and provide you more guidance so you feel like you're not sort of just taking a shot in the dark. That you’re doing things the way he or she would like you to do them.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Annotated Bibliography: Writing Tips

Summary

  • Take factual notes
  • Use the past tense
  • Use your own words
  • Focus on purpose, methods and findings
  • Include the most relevant information

Analysis

  • Take questioning notes
  • Focus on strengths and then weaknesses
  • Go broad à narrow
  • Do not feel the need to be “nice.”

Application

  • Take notes of your reactions
  • Relate the source to yourself, your field, other scholars, the community, etc.
  • Potentially use “I”

Audio: So, I want to talk a little bit more about what we mean by a summary paragraph, what I mean by analysis paragraph and what I mean by an application paragraph. So, in your summary paragraph you are going to take factual notes. This is sort of the book report paragraph, right? You're going to provide a complete, concise summary of the article or chapter that you read. You want to use the past tense. When I'm talking about what the author said, did, asserted, right? He or she made those assertions in the past, so I’m going to use the past tense for those.

You want to use your own words. In any sort of annotation, paraphrasing is important. Right? If I'm summarizing an entire article in one paragraph, direct quotations aren’t really gonna fit in there right? I need to use concise paraphrasing, really effective paraphrasing to give my readers an idea of what the paragraph is about—or excuse me, what the article is about in a single paragraph. You’re going to focus on the purpose, methods and findings. Okay, those are sort of the key strongholds of any particular article. Right? What is the author’s purpose? What methods did he or she use? And finally, what did he or she find? Right? What were the conclusions drawn from that? And you really want to pull out the most relevant information. So again, if your colleague comes into a room, if your imaginary colleague comes into the room and asks you what that article is about, how could you describe that article in a really complete way in four or five sentences for that colleague? That’s what your summary should look like. It should be really tight, but it also should include an entire, or a comprehensive summary. So, don't forget to include the original author's conclusions there as well.

Next, you want an analysis paragraph. An analysis is really where you have to put on your critical reading cap. Right? You have to be an active and engaged reader. Because you can't just assume that because what the author has there is in print that it is 100% true and not fallible. Right? Generally, there are weaknesses to every study as well as strengths. So, think about what the author has done well here, what he or she should have done better, maybe? So, focus on those strengths and weaknesses. That's really important. So, in that analysis section you want to go broad and move more and more narrow. So that means, I'm going to focus on the big picture first and then I might focus in a little bit more on the nitty-gritty. So, I might focus on the overall idea of the study, then I might focus specifically on some problems with methodology, and then I might focus specifically on some problems with sample size or conclusions, so going from broad to narrow. And then finally don’t feel the need to be nice. Right? We want to provide an accurate and critical assessment of an article.  So, there is no need to sugar coat mistakes or problems with the study.

And then finally, you're going to have an application paragraph. So, why are you reading this? Why is this important to you? You want to take note of your reactions and you also want to relate the source to yourself, your field, and other scholars in the community. So, you want to think about how you are going to potentially use this article, right?. If I am writing a paragraph about the refugee crisis in Denmark, but I found an article about the refugee crisis in all of Europe, that's not necessarily specifically what I'm focusing on, right, in my particular project or my particular assignment, but I can use this article to inform my writing. So, I would explain to my readers in an application paragraph how I'm intending to use that article to inform my writing.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: 1. Summary Paragraph Example

Answer some or all of the following questions:

  • What is the topic and purpose of the study?
  • What actions did the researcher perform and why?
  • What were the methods?
  • What was the theoretical basis?
  • What were the conclusions?

Audio: So, in your summary paragraph you really want to answer some of the following questions: what is the topic and the purpose of the study? Right? These are these main idea questions that we need to know. And what you might not remember later, unless you write them down and keep a lot of them in this annotated bibliography. What actions did the researcher perform and why? What were the methods? What was is the theoretical basis, and what were the conclusions? So, you can keep this in mind, right? Even have these questions out as you're doing your reading, and these will formulate a nice summary paragraph.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: 1. Summary Paragraph Example

Thompson, Kirk, and Brown conducted a study to determine how burnout and emotional exhaustion of female police officers affect their family environment based upon role ambiguity and role overload.  Thompson et al. mailed out surveys to 1,081 female police officers employed by the Australian State Police; however, only 421 surveys were useable.  The researchers predicted that supervisor support would reduce role stressors and emotional exhaustion and improve family cohesion and conflict.  They found a relationship between supervisor support and reduced role stressors, family functioning, and emotional exhaustion, but did not find a correlation between coworker support and work stress.  Thompson et al. suggested that further research is needed on how emotional exhaustion affects family stressors in policewoman.

Audio: So, let's look at an example of a summary paragraph. And I’m gonna read this aloud, but if you want to just read it to yourself as I'm reading that's fine. “Thompson, Kirk, and Brown conducted a study to determine how burnout and emotional exhaustion of female police officers affect their family environment based upon role ambiguity and role overload.  Thompson et al. mailed out surveys to 1,081 female police officers employed by the Australian State Police; however, only 421 surveys were useable.  The researchers predicted that supervisor support would reduce role stressors and emotional exhaustion and improve family cohesion and conflict.  They found a relationship between supervisor support and reduced role stressors, family functioning, and emotional exhaustion, but did not find a correlation between coworker support and work stress.  Thompson et al. suggested that further research is needed on how emotional exhaustion affects family stressors in policewomen.”

So, you see, from this summary paragraph example, we get a clear sense of the main idea. Right? We're focusing on burn out and emotional exhaustion in female police officers. The method, right? It was a survey method sent out to 1,081 police officers. And these key findings, right? So, the researchers’ predictions, so we've got their hypothesis and then finally the key findings. So, what they found were connected and what they found maybe weren’t so connected. This is a really effective first sample paragraph. Or, excuse me, first summary paragraph.

 

Visual: 2. Analysis Paragraph Example

Answer some or all the following questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the article?
  • What, if any, information is missing?
  • Is researcher bias present?
  • Is the article scholarly or generalizable? Why or why not?

Don’t just report a weakness or strength: Tell your reader why it is a weakness or strength.

Audio: Now finally let’s talk about, or next, let's talk about the analysis paragraph example. So, you would want to answer some of these questions. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the article? And we talked about this a bit, you know, whether the sample size was too small or the methods weren't based on any particular theory. What, if any, information is missing? Is researcher bias present? So, if I see an article on gun control, and I notice that it is done by an organization or a thinktank that's affiliated with the NRA, flags are going to go off. Right? There's probably some researcher bias there. Is the article scholarly or generalizable, why or why not? So, these are all good to think about in terms of writing an effective analysis.

Now, don't just report a weakness or a strength. You want to tell you reader why it is a weakness or a strength. So, you don’t want to just say the author had a small sample size. You want to say why it’s a problem that the sample size was too small. So, it might be a problem that the sample was too small because it's not an accurate reflection of the population he’s generalizing this to. Right? It’s not… So, the conclusions might be off. They might be faulty there. So, tell your readers why something is a strength or why something is a weakness.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: 2. Analysis Paragraph Example

            Although Thompson et al. made a significant contribution to the field of police research, the article had several limitations.  First, the researchers chose a small and specialized sample that did not include policewomen or other minorities.  Second, the researchers potentially influenced results by asking leading questions in the interviews and focus group meetings.  Therefore, further research is needed with a wider demographic range and completely impartial interviewers.

Audio: So, let's look at a sample analysis paragraph. “Although Thompson et al. made a significant contribution to the field of police research, the article had several limitations.  First, the researchers chose a small and specialized sample that did not include policewomen or other minorities.  Second, the researchers potentially influenced results by asking leading questions in the interviews and focus group meetings.  Therefore, further research is needed with a wider demographic range and completely impartial interviewers.”

So, we've highlighted an issue with demographics and the way the surveys were given out. And we’ve also highlighted problems with the interviewing itself. So, these aren’t things that are gonna be obvious in a study, right? These are things that you’ve got to critically engage with and think through and you have to come to those conclusions based on your critical reading of the study.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: 3. Application Paragraph Example

This study was valuable to understanding the relationship between employees’ views of change and the coping mechanisms used. Based on the results, the business sector should reinforce positive emotions to reduce withdrawal and increase commitment to the change. This implication aligns with Kotter’s 8-step change model emphasizing the positive and reinforcing employees for their efforts. This study, as well as Kotter’s model, will serve as the basis for the Business Change Strategy of my Application.

Audio: So finally, the application paragraph. So how does it affect me and how does it inform my writing? Yes. Okay. So, “This study was valuable to understanding the relationship between employees’ views of change and the coping mechanisms used. Based on the results, the business sector should reinforce positive emotions to reduce withdrawal and increase commitment to the change. This implication aligns with Kotter’s 8-step change model emphasizing the positive and reinforcing employees for their efforts. This study, as well as Kotter’s model, will serve as the basis for the Business Change Strategy of my Application.”

So here, the writer of this annotated bibliography has not only provided a relationship between something else they've read, right? So, oh yeah, this article provides a three-step model that's similar to Kotter’s eight-step model, but this writer has also sort of highlighted exactly where she plans to use this in her paper. Right? “This study, as well as Kotter’s model, will serve as the basis for the Business Change Strategy of my Application.” So, this is really useful as a notetaking strategy, right, because the author can then go back and say, oh right, I'm using this application, or excuse me, I’m using this article to focus on the application in my paper. Right? I'm using this to inform this particular section of my paper or the theoretical underpinnings for this particular section of my paper. So, it actually reduces the workload when you get to the actual writing process because you've already built up all this evidence and you’ve organized it in your annotated bibliography so you can just sort of pull from that when you're crafting that section of your draft.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: All Together Now!

[Slide presents the following as an image, just as it would be formatted in an annotated bibliography.]

Thompson, B.M., Kirk, A., & Brown, D. (2006). Sources of stress in policewomen: A three factor model. International Journal of Stress Management, 13(3), 309-328. doi:10.1037/1072-5245.13.3.309

Thompson, Kirk, and Brown conducted a study to determine how burnout and emotional exhaustion of female police officers affect their family environment based upon role ambiguity and role overload.  Thompson et al. mailed out surveys to 1,081 female police officers employed by the Australian State Police; however, only 421 surveys were useable.  The researchers predicted that supervisor support would reduce role stressors and emotional exhaustion and improve family cohesion and conflict.  They found a relationship between supervisor support and reduced role stressors, family functioning, and emotional exhaustion, but did not find a correlation between coworker support and work stress.  Thompson et al. suggested that further research is needed on how emotional exhaustion affects family stressors in policewoman.

Although Thompson et al. made a significant contribution to the field of police research, the article had several limitations.  First, the researchers chose a small and specialized sample that did not include policewomen or other minorities.  Second, the researchers potentially influenced results by asking leading questions in the interviews and focus group meetings.  Therefore, further research is needed with a wider demographic range and completely impartial interviewers.

This study was valuable to understanding the relationship between employees’ views of change and the coping mechanisms used. Based on the results, the business sector should reinforce positive emotions to reduce withdrawal and increase commitment to the change. This implication aligns with Kotter’s 8-step change model emphasizing the positive and reinforcing employees for their efforts. This study, as well as Kotter’s model, will serve as the basis for the Business Change Strategy of my Application.

Audio: So, all together now -- and I realize this is really small. And we're going to look at a couple other examples after this. But this is basically those three paragraphs that we talked about. The summary paragraph, the analysis paragraph, and the application paragraph all together. So, what you’ll see at the top is the actual reference. So, that’s an APA style reference that sits just above the annotation. And you’ll notice that there are no additional spaces between the reference and the start of the annotation. So, you simply launch into your summary paragraph and then your analysis and then your application paragraph. And a lot of students ask, you know, do I site the source in my annotated bibliography? And generally, you don't need in-text citations or parenthetical citations in that annotated bibliography because you've got the reference right above it. Sometimes, instructors are particular about that and they do require citations. So, that’s something to doublecheck with your instructor if you're nervous, but because you're really only talking about that one source in your annotated bibliography and that one source lives in a reference, right, right above that annotation, it's fine to just leave out the in-text citations there.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Annotated Bibliography

Let’s Take a Look!

Annotated Bibliography Example

[Webinar layout changes to show a sample annotated bibliography as a document.]

Audio: So, let's look at a quick example. You will see on the screen now an example of an annotated bibliography. But I also want to point out that in the files pod, at the bottom righthand of the screen you will see the files pod, there is a sample annotated bibliography there. And that is this same sample because we’re gonna kind of breeze through it in today’s discussion. But if you are having to write an annotated bibliography for your course, and you want a take away that you can sort of look back to and refer to as you're writing, this is something great to have on hand. So, note that this is in the files pod and you can access it on your own time.

So, you'll see we have a title page just as you would in any other APA style document. And down below, this particular -- this particular annotated bibliography has an introduction before the actual annotated bibliography. And, again, that’s not something that’s required by APA, but it might be something that’s required by your instructor. So, it’s just something to double check whether he or she requires you to write a quick paragraph introduction or two before you actually launch into your annotated bibliography. But just like we talked about, you'll see the reference at the top. Right? And then you'll see the three paragraphs below: the summary paragraph, the analysis paragraph, and the application paragraph. And again, we’ve got our next reference, right? The Hewett reference, and then we have the summary paragraph, the analysis paragraph, and the application paragraph, and then our next reference and so on. So, you also—just a quick reminder, these are in alphabetical order, right? We started with Boquet, then we move to Hewett, and now we’re at McKinney. So, we are moving in alphabetical order through these references, which is really important in your annotated bibliography.

Another thing I want to draw your attention to is this--Oops. I'm sorry for the vertigo. My mouse is sort of going haywire all the sudden—is this reference list. You also want to doublecheck with your instructor about whether he or she would like you to include an additional reference list. Sometimes, instructors do want those additional reference lists in addition to your annotated bibliography—bibliographic references, but sometimes, they say to leave those out. So again, because there is no hard and fast rule in the APA manual about annotated bibliographies, these sort of formatting issues, what to include, what not to include, and how many paragraphs, things like that, are really up to your instructor. So, if he or she isn’t clear about it, please don't be shy in asking them. Because those are things that you need to know in order to create a successful annotated bibliography.

So, while we move back to the second half of our presentation on literature reviews, before we do that I wanted to pause and ask Beth if we have any questions.

Beth: Yeah, thanks, so much, Sarah. One of the questions we had was whether there should be an introduction or conclusion to the whole annotated bibliography.

Sarah: Yeah, so I talked about this a little, and let me just move back up here…  Again, I apologize for some reason the scroll button on my mouse has decided to go crazy. And, so you’ll see in this sample that there is an introduction. And a lot of times, if it is for an assignment in class, you will be asked to write an introduction in which you tie sort of all your annotations together in an introduction where you talk about the research focus or the research topic. So, for instance, if I'm writing about the refugee crisis in Europe, I might provide a bit of background context before I launch into each of my annotations about the sources I found. However, if you’re writing annotations or constructing annotations for your own purpose, let's say to take notes for a larger literature review that’s coming later whether it’s in a capstone or a course assignment, then an introduction really isn't necessary. So, like I said earlier, in the presentation, because there are no hard and fast APA rules about whether or not to include an introduction in an annotated bibliography, that’s really instructor preference. And also depends on the purpose of your annotations, or your annotated bibliography. So, you just want to… if you don’t know, and you have that assignment you want to reach out to your instructor to verify whether or not you should include that introduction.

Any other questions?

Beth: Yeah. Another question we had – so students were noticing—they had some really good eyes—and they were noticing that in that application paragraph, the original author was referring to another source, I believe it was Kotter? Could you talk a little about how they might approach that since they’re referring to another source there? What would your suggestion be if they want to sort of refer to other sources in that application paragraph to help compare?

Sarah: Yeah! So, the application paragraph is kind of a nice place to start doing the work of synthesis, right? Because when I'm taking notes, a lot of times, if I’ve just read an article about one particular issue, and I read another article and this author talks about it, too, my brain is already working in that way, right? I'm already thinking about particular connections between those two authors and those two sources and that's great because you're going to have to do that later in your literature review, right? Make those connections, what we call synthesis. If you do that in an annotated bibliography, you do then want to start inserting, I would say, in-text citations. And the reason I say that is because you’d never want those lines to be murky about what author is responsible for what in a particular paragraph. So, if you do find yourself referencing other authors, you just want to make sure that it is clear to your reader, you know, that Kotter is responsible for this eight-step model while Thompson was responsible for this three-step model. So, providing citations where it is helpful and it clarifies who’s responsible for what, to both your reader and to yourself, later. You know, if I wrote this in June of 2015 and I’m now looking back at it in January 2016, it's helpful. Right? Especially if I haven't looked at those articles for months. So, I would say, you know, use commence regarding when you think you need citations based on when it is unclear to the reader who's responsible for what. Beth, did you have anything to add there?

Beth: No. I like that. Yeah. The approach of just, you know, using your common sense in making sure that the reader knows exactly who's responsible for what information. That all makes a lot of sense to me, I think. You know I wondered if you could address maybe just one more question real quick.

Sarah: Sure, absolutely.

Beth: Yeah, and this might, I mean, it kind of covers both, maybe annotated bibliographies and lit reviews. But we had a couple questions early on about paragraphs and how long paragraphs should be. Could you maybe talk a little bit about suggestions there, for paragraph length?

Sarah: Absolutely. I would talk about this all day because it is something that’s really important to me. A lot of times in student writing what I'll see is two sentence paragraphs. And the truth is I will almost always comment on a two-sentence paragraph that it is too brief. Really what we want to see is a fully-developed paragraph. And when I say a fully-developed paragraph, I mean that paragraph has a central point or a main idea, it has evidence and analysis to support that main idea, and then it has a lead out or a conclusion, sort of wrapping up or tying together the information. Sometimes that means interpreting information for your readers. Generally, that can be done in four to five sentences, so I say a paragraph should be at least four sentences long. Because in order to include that main idea, to supply evidence and analysis in which you support that main idea, or further that main idea, and then provide a conclusion, so readers are clear that you're sort of ending discussion on that particular idea and leading them into the next idea, is really important. So, I would say at least four sentences.

Now, on the other end of that, if you’re a little bit wordy, like myself, right, you want to avoid paragraphs that are longer than one double-spaced page. So, if your readers are looking at your paper and they don't see a paragraph break in every single double-spaced page in your draft, you've got a problem, right? Because readers are fickle, they’re fickle audience members. Okay? So, if I don’t see a break, I'm going to feel exhausted, kind of overwhelmed. So, make sure your paragraph is shorter than one double-spaced page and at least four to five sentences. And you also want to be pretty consistent with paragraph lengths. So, you don’t want one paragraph that’s four sentences and then your next paragraph to be sixteen sentences. Because you want to sort of evenly address all the issues in your paper. So, that is sort of my two cents on paragraph length.

Beth: That's fantastic, Sarah. And I just added a link to our webinar, which we presented, I think, last week on paragraphs, in the Q & A box, too. So, there's a really great in-depth discussion of paragraphs in that and so I encourage you to take a look at that webinar recording if you'd like more information about paragraphs and length and paragraph development and all that.

Sarah: Awesome. Thanks for that, Beth.

Beth: Yeah, and I think that's all we have for questions so far.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Relationship Between Annotated Bibliography & Literature Review

Annotated bibliography = preparation for any writing project

Literature review = foundation for research

Audio: Sarah: Okay. So, let's launch back into this second half our presentation, in which we discuss the literature review. So, what is the relationship between the annotated bibliography and the literature review? Like we’ve talked about, an annotated bibliography can often be preparation for any writing project in which you’re sort of gathering evidence on a particular topic. A literature review is really the foundation for research. And we're going to talk a little bit more about what I mean when I say the foundation for research.

Visual: Slide changes to the following: The Literature Review

More Resources!

“Reviewing the Literature and Incorporating Previous Research” recorded webinar

Audio: Before we launch into that discussion, I did just want to remind you of a couple of resources that we have. We have a previously recorded webinar on reviewing the literature and incorporating previous research, which is really useful if you're at the literature review stage now. So, I encourage all of you who are at the literature review stage now to watch that webinar when you have a moment.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Purpose

For your reader:

  • Overviews your chosen topic or field
  • Demonstrates your depth of knowledge
  • Can show a gap or your research focus

For yourself:

  • Supports and guides research
  • Promotes analysis and critical reading
  • Can help you find a gap or your research focus

Audio: So, what is the purpose of a literature review? Again, just like the annotated bibliography, the purpose of a literature review is two-fold. It's really for your reader and also for yourself. The purpose of a literature review, really, is to bring your reader up to speed on a particular topic. So, let's say I graduate with a degree in women's studies, okay, and I, my topic of study, the focus of my research was on contemporary women’s friendships, or women’s friendship in contemporary novels, so female friendships in contemporary novels. I’ll get it right at some point. So, with that degree and with that research focus, I am telling the world, right, that I am an expert on female friendships in contemporary women's literature. So, that means I am responsible for knowing all of the literature of note that has happened in that particular research area. So, how do I do that? Well, I do that through constructing a solid literature review of all the literature of note done on that particular area of focus. So, if someone were to want to know more about female friendships in contemporary literature, they could look at the literature review of my dissertation, read that information and be up to speed on everything important that has happened to date, right, when that dissertation was published on that particular research focus. So again, it overviews. It brings your readers up to speed on a chosen topic or field.

Next, it demonstrates your depth of knowledge, right? So, if I’m claiming to be an expert because I’ve done all this extensive research in this particular field and I don't have a really wide berth of resources, then I'm not demonstrating my depth of knowledge. However, if I do have that wide berth of resources, if I have done comprehensive research on the topic it does demonstrate that depth knowledge.

And lastly it can show a gap for your research focus. So basically, your literature review is going to end at what is missing. Okay? So, if I'm focusing on female friendships in contemporary women's novels, I’m gonna talk about everything that’s out there and I'm going to end with what is missing. Right? So, all this work has been done, but where does further work need to be done? Right here. So, you’re sort of explaining everything that is out there and why you need to intervene. Right? This is what hasn’t been done so this is what I'm focusing on. We often call that a gap in the literature. A focus of our research.

And for yourself. Again, if I'm graduating with this degree and I have this area of focus or even if I’m just writing a paper on something and I am making an argument, I need to have that mastery of the subject. So, the way I do that is through research and when I combine that research into a narrative, I'm supporting and guiding that research, right? I'm showing that I have enough information. So, doing a literature review will help to support and guide your research because as you read, as you gather that evidence, you start to see direction in your own writing. Well, where do I want to go on this? Where do I fall? What do I think is missing?

It also promotes analysis in critical reading. And that again is, you know, what do I think is missing? What do I think is in need of further research? And then finally, it can help you find a gap in your research, right? I have no idea what's been done in a field and what hasn’t been done until I actually do the research. A lot of dissertation students come to us and say, “well, I wanted to do my project on x, but then I noticed that it had already been done.” Right? So, as they did digging, as they looked through the evidence, they saw that what they thought would be a gap in the research, or a gap in the literature wasn't a gap in the literature. So, doing that evidence digging, right, creating the literature review can really help provide you with a gap and also narrow your focus.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Purpose

What is a literature review?

Examination of all the scholarship on a particular topic or field written in narrative form via synthesis.

[As Sarah is talking, the following points appear on the slide.]

  • Not summary or report
  • Not just research that agrees
  • Focused
  • Not a list of annotations or organized alphabetically or chronologically
  • Not just summary or analysis

Audio: So, what is a literature review? A literature review is an examination of all the scholarship on a particular topic or field written in narrative form via synthesis. So, it is not a summary or a report. And this is a sticking point for a lot of students. What they like to do is copy and paste paragraphs from their annotated bibliographies, which really are summaries, right? They're individual summaries of particular articles. So, they'll copy and paste those paragraphs into their literature review, but that's not going to work because the literature review is not a summary.

It is also not just research that agrees with you. Okay? And I know it can be really frustrating once you've sort of developed an argument, right? You have got a solid argument. You're sure that you're right, and then you find a really credible source that disagrees with you. And I know the initial impulse is to, you know, put the source in a drawer and pretend that you never saw it. But the truth is that the strongest literature reviews are those that examine all sides of an issue. Right? So actually, finding research that disagrees is really a great point of comparison and contrast that you can put in your literature review.

It also should be focused. Okay? I can't write an entire literature review on refugees or laws concerning refugees. That's huge. When I start to dig up evidence on that, I am going to feel immensely overwhelmed because that topic is not focused enough. So, you have to make sure, given the scope of your work, if it’s a course paper, if it’s a KAM, if it’s a capstone literature review, that it's focused enough to where you can manage the amount of resources that you're going to need to cover in your literature review.

And then finally, it’s not a list of annotations or organized alphabetically or chronologically. Your literature review is not organized by author. It is organized by idea. And that’s what we’re going to get into when we talk a little bit more about synthesis.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Purpose

What is synthesis?

  • Identifying patterns among sources
  • Analyzing strengths/weaknesses of the sources or field
  • Comparing and contrasting the authors’ findings
  • Interpreting what is known in your field and what is missing
    • Adding to the conversation

Audio: So, let's move on to our next slide because a lot of times students say, “Fine, I know it needs to be synthesized, but I don't understand what synthesis is.” So, the idea of synthesis is that you want to identify patterns among sources. You want to analyze strengths and weaknesses of the sources in the field. You want to compare and contrast the authors’ findings and you want to interpret what is known in your field and what is missing. So, let's go back. Let's talk specifically about the current refugee crisis in Europe. So, I want to focus on that. So, as I'm doing reading, I find all of this information or I find, you know, three or four different articles that talk specifically about provisional citizenship. So, refugees will be allowed in Europe, but they must be under provisional citizenship. Let's say one author says that provisional citizenship should mean that they have to live in a detainment center for 90 days. Another author says that provisional citizenship means that they have to be checked in with the state embassy or -- you know, the country every week for three years. Somebody else says that provisional citizenship should be lifelong, and they should have to consistently check in throughout their life with the possibility of deportation if they do anything wrong.

So that -- all of those different ideas are under the broad umbrella, or the broader umbrella—the idea of provisional citizenship. But when I draw up or craft my paragraph about provisional citizenship I'm going to talk about author A’s idea of provisional citizenship and how it’s a bit different from author B’s idea and how author’s B idea is a little bit different than author A’s idea and how it’s a little bit different than author C’s idea. So, I'm going to be doing some comparing and contrasting between those authors, right? So, what concerning the idea of provisional citizenship do they have in common? What is different? So, notice that in a single paragraph that I'm organizing by the idea of provisional citizenship, I have multiple sources. I have author A, B, and C weighing in. So, if you image, you know, you invited these experts on refugee crises to dinner one night and you bring up this idea of provisional citizenship. What's going to happen? It's not going to be that author A gets up, gives her spiel about it and sits down, and then author B gets up, gives his spiel about it and sits down, right? Instead, there's going to be conversation. There's going to be talking back and forth. They're going to agree. They're going to disagree. There's might be some arguments. That's exactly what your literature review paragraphs need to convey. They need to convey that communication between sources. So again, we do not organize by author like we do in the annotated bibliography. Instead, we organize by idea. Okay?

So, for instance those same strengths and weaknesses you highlighted in your annotated bibliography might be the source of a paragraph in which author A, B, and C might share the same weakness in their study. So, it might be that author’s A and B came to the same conclusion, but that’s because they both had the sample size that was really too small and not generalizable, but author C had a larger sample size and actually came up with a different conclusion. So, I may be doing some comparing and contrasting based on those strengths and weaknesses as well.

So, again, next, you're going to be adding to the conversation. A lot of times, I hear from students, you know, “I don't know in a literature review were my unique voice fits in.” Right? “I feel like I'm just talking about what other authors are doing. You know, I don't know where I fit into the mix.” And the truth is, in a literature review, where your voice is, is how you interpret what is known in your field and how you put those puzzle pieces together. So, you and I can read the exact same research, right, the exact same ten articles. The way I organize those articles to form a literature review to give my readers a sense of the current state of the field is going to be different from the way you organize those. So, how you put the authors together, how you put the authors in conversation is really your—your unique voice in that scholarly writing.

Visual: Slide from above changes to include the following example:

…Although Benson (2015) suggested technical innovations make providing health care easier, Campbell et al. (2014) noted that technology is only helpful if hospital staff are adequately trained on the new system. Thus, adequately training hospital staff is essential to successfully implementing new technology….

Audio: So, let's look at one more example, and this example actually has to do with healthcare. So, “Although Benson suggested technical innovations make providing health care easier, Campbell et al. noted that technology is only helpful if hospital staff are adequately trained on the new system. Thus, adequately training hospital staff is essential to successfully implementing new technology.” So, you'll see that this writer has compared Benson and compared Campbell and then interpreted that data for the reader. So, what is the takeaway here? The author has provided that takeaway.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Purpose

Chat Box:

In what ways is this an example of synthesis?

Synthesis example:

…Although Benson (2015) suggested technical innovations make providing health care easier, Campbell et al. (2014) noted that technology is only helpful if hospital staff are adequately trained on the new system. Thus, adequately training hospital staff is essential to successfully implementing new technology….

[The webinar layout changes to open a chat box for students to type into in response to the chat question.]

Audio: So now, let's look in the chat box for the ways in which this example is synthesis. So, if you could just briefly type in, I’ll give you a few minutes.

 [Pause as students type.]

Okay. I'm going to get started guys, but I just want to make sure everybody is on muted.

Okay. Perfect. Seems like that we got that resolved. Okay, so I’ve read a lot of great examples here. What I really like is where we talk about this notion of comparison and contrast. So, someone said “they compare and contrast and then they provide a conclusion or their own interpretation based on their findings. And that is a beautiful answer. That is exactly right. Where I want to draw pause is I see a couple of you talk about summarizing. And that's not really what's happening here. We could say they're summarizing small, maybe paraphrasing small points and then putting those points in conversation with one another. But again, we're avoiding summarizing the entire source and then summarizing another entire source. Right? Instead we're putting Benson and Campbell et al. in conversation, and then based on that, sort of, conversation we've created, we're then talking specifically about an inference we can draw from that. So, “Thus adequately training hospital staff is essential to successfully implementing new technology.” So, that’s the inference drawn from putting those two authors in conversation. So, that's great answers there. Great answers.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Formatting:

  • Use paragraphs
  • No required or prescribed headings

[Slide includes an image of a woman, she’s holding a paint brush, chewing on the end of it. She’s look up to the right, as though thinking.]

Audio: So, let's shift to our next slide. So, literature review formatting. Now again, just like with the annotated bibliography, there is no clear APA-sanctioned way to format your literature review in terms of what headings you should use. You do want to use paragraphs and your headings should really be based on the organic themes that sort of bubble up as you’re collecting evidence. So, for instance, I’m gonna go back to my example of the refugee crisis in Europe, and I might have a heading titled Provisional Citizenship.  Because that's a theme that I noticed that came up a lot in the articles I was reading. So, that’s really important to think through those themes, think about what common themes are going to help guide your reader best through the literature. Because I’m basically providing a guide that says this is all you need to know about this topic to be up to date. So, what headings would really support that particular up-to-date topic.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Organization

By Theme √

  • Unique organization
  • Talk about multiple authors in sections and paragraphs
  • Allow authors to “talk to each other”
  • Creates narrative form

By Author

  • Limits organization
  • Limits a paragraph to one source
  • Doesn’t allow synthesis of sources
  • Creates summary or book report feel

Audio: So again, you want to organize by theme, not by author. Right? So, when you organize by theme, that's going to be a unique organization to you. We talked about how your organization based on theme is going to be different than mine. You're going to talk about multiple authors in sections and paragraphs. Meaning each paragraph is going to cite multiple authors. So, what do authors A, B, and C think about idea X. Right? And you want to make sure those authors are talking to each other, right? They’re having communication with one another. And then, finally that is going to ultimately create a narrative form were readers can follow that narrative logically from start to finish. So, there’s a cohesive narrative thread that runs throughout the entire literature review. You're telling the reader a story.

If you do organize by author, it's going to limit your organization, right? It’s not going to be a cohesive narrative it is going to be individual summaries, which really limits sort of how you put the pieces together. Right? And it's going to put that onus of putting the pieces together on the reader. It doesn’t allow synthesis which is essential to a literature review. And it also creates a summary or book report feel. Right? And in academic writing, what we'd like to see you do is move past the summary to the analysis and then finally synthesis stages of writing. Because those are really considered higher forms of organization or better forms of organization. So, you want to sort of graduate from that summary based writing to synthesis based writing.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Writing Tips

Use headings and comparative terms to direct the reader and organize the literature review

Headings

  • Cue your reader to organization and changing topics
  • Note subtopics of themes

Comparative Terms

  • Demonstrate where authors agree or disagree
  • Highlight your interpretation of the authors’ findings

Audio: Now finally, you want to think about what headings and comparative terms you use. Because those are really going to direct your reader and they're going to help you with your organization. So, headings queue your reader to organization and changing of topics. And also, you might have sub topics, right, or sub themes within those larger headings. And then finally, those comparative terms demonstrate where authors agree or disagree. So, for instance, if I said, “author A suggested X” and then my next sentence starts with “similarly, author B.” Right? That “similarly” is telling my readers oh, author A agrees with author B, and those sorts of connecting words that demonstrate comparison or contrast are really helpful and they help with the cohesion or the narrative format of your literature review. And finally, they highlight your interpretation of the author's findings. Right? So, they highlight sort of how you see the pieces fitting together or what you want your readers take away to be from that particular section or paragraph.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Writing Tips

Organization

  • Note themes & patterns as you read
  • Use a matrix
  • Use a software program (like Zotero)
  • Develop an outline
  • Stay flexible as research develops

Resources

Audio: So, here are some just general tips for writing literature review. As you’re reading, take note of the themes or patterns you notice. So, for instance, if I’m reading or writing my annotated bibliography right? I'm taking notes, and I notice, wow, provisional citizenship comes up again and again and again. Or limiting the numbers of refugees that are allowed into the country comes up again and again and again. I’m going to take note of those themes. Because those are probably going to turn into headings, right, in my literature review. So, one way you can do that is to use a matrix to keep track of those themes. You'll see a link here to our matrix which you can access and download to your computer and use. You can also use a bibliographic source that keeps track of all those references for you, like Zotero. You can develop an outline, if you’re a super type a person like me and you like to see everything neat and orderly, an outline is really nice. And also, you want to remember to stay flexible as research develops, so, you might come into a project feeling one way, but then after reading a lot of, you know, resources on the topic, you sort of notice that you change the focus of your particular paper or literature review or you may even change, you know, where you land in terms of your argument.

And then finally, you just want to use general good scholarly writing guidelines, right? And this is true of every type of academic paper. You want to make sure you’re using that synthesis. You want to make sure you’re using evidence and that evidence is cited and it's from good, credible, scholarly sources. You want to make sure that you're effectively paraphrasing, so that you’re not unintentionally plagiarizing when you paraphrase. You want to make sure that you have solid paragraphs. We talked about those and I posted the link for including those solid paragraphs. And then finally, you want to use those transitions, the comparative terms we talked about often can function as transitions. But those transitions really just provide you with that nice cohesion and flow throughout your paper and it demonstrates connections between your ideas.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Example

Introduction

Strategy

Historical Context of Continuing Education

The Need for Continuing Professional Educations in the Human Services

Professionals’ Views of Continuing Education

Continuing Education in the Funeral Profession

Issues Regarding Mandatory versus Voluntary Continuing Education

            Cost

            Availability

            Effectiveness

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mandatory versus Voluntary Continuing Education

Formal and Informal Continuing Education

Literature and Differing Methodologies

 

Audio: So, in a literature review… this is just an outline of a literature review outline. You’ll see that I have an introduction, and I have a strategy, and I have my first sort of heading that is theme focused, which is historical context of continuing education, the need for continuing professional education, professionals’ views of continuing education, and so forth. And then if you even look down under education, you’ll see I have some subheadings on cost, availability, and effectiveness. So, outlining your headings before you actually start the writing process is really useful, because you can think about how those headings fit together, what needs to come first, second, third, and so on. Because you do want to tell a story, right? So, there needs to be a clear narrative thread.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Literature Review: Example

Chat Box:

What are the strengths and weaknesses of this paragraph?

            As Stragalas (2010) argued, sharing specific details about the change will help to eliminate any difficulties. Steele-Johnson et al. (2010) echoed these sentiments when they reported that revealing all of the details about a change process can help those involved better understand and support the change. Steele-Johnson et al. also asserted that a high level of transparency during the change can help those involved prepare for and welcome the change. Similarly, Nahata et al. (2010) showed that transparency through excessive communication can allow for a wider range of acceptance of the change.

[The webinar layout changes to open a chat box for students to type into in response to the chat question.]

Audio: So, let's look at this example of a paragraph in a literature review. So, I’m going to read it aloud, and then after, I'd like you to talk briefly about what the strengths and weaknesses of the paragraph are. So, “As Stragalas argued, sharing specific details about the change will help to eliminate any difficulties. Steele-Johnson et al. echoed these sentiments when they reported that revealing all of the details about a change process can help those involved better understand and support the change. Steele-Johnson et al. also asserted that a high level of transparency during the change can help those involved prepare for and welcome the change. Similarly, Nahata et al. showed that transparency through excessive communication can allow for a wider range of acceptance of the change.” So, what are some strengths and weaknesses of that paragraph regarding synthesis?

[Pause as students type.]

All right. Good. Because we're running a little short on time and I want to make sure we definitely get to the end of the presentation and have a couple of seconds, if not a minute or two for questions, I'm going to just jump in here. A lot of you noticed that the change that this particular writer is talking about is not clear. And I would say, yes, that they need to sort of make clear what the change is. That might be in another paragraph or that might be something else that is noted earlier in the lit review. And others of you talked about the fact that all of these authors seem to agree. So, it might be helpful if the writer could find a contrasting point, but I do want point out is that a particular strength of this synthesis is that the author uses a bunch of great transition words or comparative terms. So, you'll see Steele-Johnson et al. echoed these sentiments, which means, that’s basically like saying similarly. Right? So, we’re getting the sense that they agree. Later on, we have similarly, also giving the sense that they agree. So, they do a nice job here of using those transition words or using those comparative terms to sort of allow us to move through that paragraph noting how the author's points relate to one another.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: To Recap:

Annotated Bibliographies

  • Individual authors
  • Reference + Annotation

Literature   Reviews

  • Patterns and themes
  • Synthesis

Audio: Okay. So, let's go back to our presentation. So just to recap, annotated bibliographies are really organized by individual authors, it’s the reference plus the annotation. And literature reviews really focus instead on synthesis, right, those patterns, those themes between the authors, between the sources.

 

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Audio: So, Beth, before we launch into questions I’m gonna turn it over to you to sort of make some final remarks and hopefully we'll have a couple of minute for questions

Beth: Yeah, thanks so much, Sarah. Maybe we can take just a couple—a minute or two here for questions and if you do have to log off, feel free to do so. I wanted to note just a couple things, one is that if we don’t get to your question in the Q &A box make sure to email us at writing support and we would be happy to help you there as well. And then I will be posting the recording in the webinar archive, but as I mentioned in the Q &A box we have a couple of sessions that relate to synthesis and the lit review for doctoral students scheduled for next month and actually one happening next week, so I encourage you to take a look at our calendar and take a look at that.

One question we had a little bit, or a couple times, Sarah, was about synthesis and whether students can use synthesis in other types of assignments beyond a lit review? Could you talk about that?

Sarah: Yes. Absolutely. Yes, I’d love to talk about it and yes you can use synthesis in other types of writing. In fact, in almost every piece of academic writing you construct at Walden, you're going to be using some type of synthesis. Synthesis is really sort of how we organize information to give readers a sense of the evidence across the board. So, piecing evidence together by putting authors in conversation really makes for a persuasive argument. So even if you’re just writing an evidence-based paper where you’re making an argument, synthesis is great because it supports your writing with multiple sources. So yeah, it is appropriate across the board in academic writing where you're being asked to think about more than one source.

Beth: Fantastic. Thank you, Sarah. And then the other question I wondered we could end with was whether you have suggestions for students in transitioning between paragraphs in their lit review.

Sarah: Yeah. That is a great question. And it really is one of those things that takes a bit of finesse. I like to tell students that you really want to move between sentence specific transitions. So, thinking through, well, how does this paragraph connect. So, why did I put this paragraph after the paragraph above it? What is the connection between these two ideas? And once you have a good sense of the connection between those two ideas, it's pretty easy to construct a sentence specific transition. So, for instance, you might say, you know, although there has been much research on provisional citizenship, little research has been done on the issue of limiting the number of refugees. So, thinking about how the two are connected, first, that’s how I would say you can really come up with a really strong transition between paragraphs. But you want to think--I like to think about transitions between paragraphs as a bridge. And if you don't create that bridge for your reader, they're going to be stuck in that white space between paragraphs. Right? They’re not going to be able to move to from one paragraph to the next seamlessly without being confused. So, you can draw that bridge by thinking about the connection between those two paragraphs and then just overtly stating the connection. Right? Asking your readers to recall the information that was in the past paragraph before they sort of move to the next. Does that help some, Beth?

Beth: Yeah. Certainly. Certainly. Thank you so much, Sarah. Thank you for the presentation. We have lots of thank yous coming in in the Q & A box. And I just want to thank everyone again for attending. We're going to go ahead and wrap up. But please, like I said watch out for the webinars we have coming up next week and the rest of the month. And have a wonderful evening everyone. Thank you again, Sarah.

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