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Annotated Bibliography Proposal
Now that you have read and studied more than half of the text chapters and completed the related assignments, what questions and ideas do you have in mind to consider as possible topics for your annotated bibliography? Although that bibliography wont be due until the end of the course, your proposal is to be developed in this module so that you will have ample time to locate appropriate information sources. Certainly, there are numerous possible topics presented in your text. There are others, as well. Here are some examples: Is chocolate good for your brain? If
you exercise, are you more apt to eat more nutritiously? Can you avoid memory loss with exercise and a nutritious diet? Is there a relationship between the amount you sleep and your weight gain? What are the pros and cons of genetically engineered foods? Why are there so many contradictory nutrition studies? As a first step, carefully read and consider the information in Module 7 about the annotated bibliography. Regardless of the topic you choose, you must receive your instructors approval. Your proposal must include your topic (stated as a question); your
rationale for selecting it; two of the sources you plan to use; and a well-developed annotation for each of the two sources. The assignment information in Module 7 provides helpful links to follow when writing your annotations. For the bibliography, you will be selecting a total of 10 articles, of which 5 (or more) are to be from scholarly journals and the remainder from lay publications. All the articles should correspond to your topic. Detailed information about the kinds of articles to use and how to develop an annotated bibliography is in Module 7. You may never have
read an article in a scholarly journal, and even if you have, you may not feel that you are an adept reader. To get a better understanding of what to look for in a scholarly article, watch the video about how to read a scientific article. In fact, you may want to watch it several times. Note about module 7: An annotated bibliography may be something that you have never been assigned in other courses. Typically, in a standard bibliography you list sources of information that you are using in a research paper (such as the title of an article, the author, and where and when it
was published). In an annotated bibliography, you summarize and evaluate information in your sources. You present the main ideas, relevance to your topic, and possible bias and unsupported claims that you see when comparing the article to others that you are reading. Those are your annotations. All the articles should be current (published within the past five years). Five or more should be articles from scholarly journals, of which there are many, including those listed in Appendix F at the back of your textbook. The remainder (no more than five) should be from lay
publications such as reputable magazines and newspapers like Time, Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Scientific American, Discover, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. Video note: Reading research articles can be a challenge. Here are a few suggestions for how to read a research article and understand it. Research articles are usually written for others who are experts on the field. So as a lay person when we approach a research article, I suggest not to start at the very beginning and just read it through like you would a book chapter or an essay.
Because you can get banged down [LAUGH]. So I suggest the following ways to approach a research article. The first thing to do is to look at the title. The title will oftentimes tell you the main point of the article. And in fact, this one does just that low cardiac index is associated with dementia and Alzheimers disease that in a nutshell tells you what the study is about. After the title and the authors, the next part of the article is what’s called the abstract. The abstract contains background, methods and results, and oftentimes the conclusions that the authors have
formed as a result of their study. Read the abstract, because it’s a brief study of the entire research article, the questions, and the methods. It’s short and it’s sometimes written in a dense technical language, so you may need to read a couple of times. I also suggest you have a dictionary close at hand and look at terms that you’re unfamiliar with. So that you can get a better understanding of, what was done in the research article? You could try to restate the abstract in your own words and non-technical language, just to make sure that you have the basic idea of what
this article is about. I next suggest that after you read the abstract, you read the introduction. The introduction sometimes isn’t labeled as such, but the introduction is the first part of the research article up until the methods. The introduction is usually very short, you notice that this one is only a couple of paragraphs long. The introduction contains information about the author’s interest in the research, why they chose topic, their hypothesis and their methods. The introduction will give you a good idea of why the research was done. After reading the introduction, I
suggest that you skip over the methods and the results section which can be quite technical and go right to the discussion. So the discussion is going to be after the results section and you see it starting down here at the bottom of this page and extending onto the next few pages. The discussion section explains the main findings in great detail and discusses any methodological problems or flaws that the researchers discovered when they were doing their research. The discussion also gives the author’s conclusions about their research and any additional studies that they feel would be necessary in order to extend their findings. Once you’ve read the discussion you can then go back and read the method section. The method section explain in detail the type of research and the techniques in the assessment instruments that we use. If the research utilize self-reports and questionnaires, the questions and statement use maybe set out either in this section or in an appendix that appears at the end of the report. So we’ll scroll back up and look at the method section of this particular article. You will see that the participants or the study subjects are described, the different types of measurements that were done are described, and the statistical analysis is set forth. Those are typically the types of things you’ll see in a method section. Next read the results section. This is the most technically challenging part of a research report. But you already know the findings because you read about them in the discussion section. And the results section will then explain the statistical analyses that led the authors to their conclusions, and you can see the data in some detail. Typically the results will be
narrated, but you’ll also see tables and charts, as you see in this article, where the results are presented graphically or numerically. [BLANK_AUDIO] Lastly, read the conclusion which is usually the last paragraph of the article. The conclusion summarizes the findings and more importantly it sets out what the researchers think is the value of their research for real life application. This section often contains suggestions for future research, including issues that the researchers became aware of in the course of the study. Following the conclusion may be appendices, tables of findings, presentations of questions, and statements used in self-reports and questionnaires, and examples of forms. In this article after the conclusion, there are acknowledgement, there are sources of funding, any disclosures which there weren’t any for these particular authors, and then a list of references at the end. Hopefully these tips for reading a research article will give you a framework to understand and be able to access the information in a technical research article.
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