CMN 656 Annotated Bibliography

CMN 656 Annotated Bibliography

I’m working on a Communications question and need guidance to help me study.

An Annotated Bibliography is intended to aid you in learning how to undertake the process of research. The annotated bibliography will allow you to gather scholarly sources and other credible resources in order to deepen your knowledge and understanding of your Group Presentation topic.

Before you begin this project, meet with your group members and decide which sub-topics related to your Group Presentation topic each group member will research. This will be the topic for your annotated bibliography. Each group members will complete their own individual annotated bibliography and each one should contain different sources. Do NOT include readings we’ve done in class (listed on syllabus). After you’ve completed this project, you will share what you learned with your group and work together collaboratively to incorporate each group members’ individual research into your group presentation.

Task: Your task for this assignment is to locate and evaluate source information. Along the way, you also will familiarize yourself with various research techniques, methods, and sources available to you. This annotated bibliography is meant to be evaluative rather than merely a summary of sources; that is, you will use this phase of research to determine what the value is of each source you have included, so that you may begin to see groupings, themes, or patterns among the research you are finding.

Purpose: Since many students find the prospect of “research” an overwhelming, laborious, confusing, and even mysterious task, the production of an annotated bibliography provides an opportunity to reflect on the early information/knowledge gathering stage for your group presentation project, and is a way to begin to organize and sort through your source material. As you begin to see overlap in the findings and arguments of your various sources, you will begin to better understand both the breadth and depth of research on your chosen topic, as well as angles that have potentially been left unexplored or questions that remain unanswered.

This assignment functions as a “snap shot” of your research process so that your professor may provide feedback on the direction of your research and note productive and unproductive lines of inquiry. It also allows you or your professor to identify less relevant resources and to avoid putting a lot of energy into areas of research that may not be the most the most productive for your group presentation.

Your annotation should not be a copy of the abstract included in journal articles. That is the author’s summary of the article and, while helpful in providing you a sense of what the article is about, it may not include the precise argument or the main points of the essay. Also, you need to be able to summarize the article in your own words and thoughts to make this assignment a helpful road map for the next step in preparing your group presentations.


Your annotated bibliography must include a minimum of 8 sources. At least 5 sources must be scholarly material, such as books, book chapters, or journal articles (see more on scholarly sources below).

Each annotation must include the bibliographic citation using a consistent format (APA, MLA or Chicago style). The citation must include the author, title of the article/book chapter (if in an edited collection), title of the journal or book or edited book, name of the editor if an edited book, city of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, and if accessed online the date of web access. Formatting for the various citation styles may be found on the link to the UNH Connors Writing Center here LinkLinks to an external site. (https://www.unh.edu/writing/resources)

Each evaluative annotation also should include three brief paragraphs that perform the following:

Include an introductory paragraph that introduces your sub-topic, how it relates to your group presentation, and gives a general overview of the research included in the annotated bibliography.


1.) summarize the author’s topic, thesis/argument, and main point

ASK: What questions are being asked by the author(s) of this piece? What answers are being offered (or what is the argument/analysis/findings/evidence being explained)?

2.) evaluate the source in terms of its credibility and its usefulness given the focus of your group presentation project; that is, what is unique about this source and its contribution to your understanding of your research topic;

ASK: What did I learn from reading this essay? How does this paper contribute to knowledge about rhetoric and gender? How does it help me to better understand my group’s topic?

3.) discuss the source’s limitations in terms of scope, arguments, bias, and or gaps in knowledge.

ASK: What questions did I have after reading this essay? What might be something the author left out of the essay that you think could have been included? What may be an argument against the findings of this author?


  1. To begin your research, try using Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com (Links to an external site.)). Enter your search terms (for example, gender and news coverage of the military). If you want to specifically access research in communication then try adding a second search term (for example, feminist protest AND media coverage). You may have to try a few different combinations. And if you find sources that seem relevant, click on the “Cited by X” or the “Related Articles” links underneath to find more like that. Also, if you do this search from a computer lab on campus or are connected to UNH via the UNH Pulse, then Google Scholar will provide a link to the full article of any journal in our library’s holdings. If you find a book on Google Scholar that seems relevant, look it up at library.unh.edu to see if Dimond has a copy. If the full text link is not available, you can put in a request through Interlibrary Loan and they will have the article to you in 1-2 days.
  2. Go to library.unh.edu and do a keyword search to find additional source material such as books, edited books (also referred to as anthologies as they are usually a collection of chapters written by different authors), or documentaries. If you need help with a library search, see a Reference Librarian for help.
  3. After you have done both of the above searches, you can do a more general internet search. Here you may find news articles, editorials, or popular press (non-academic) sources. These are all fine, but the majority (at least 5) of your annotations must be scholarly/academic sources, which include peer-reviewed or refereed journal articles, or books published by an academic press (for examples of these, see the list below). Anything from a newspaper, online magazine, or non-academic publisher is considered news or popular press.

Examples of scholarly sources vs. popular press sources

Scholarly journals relevant to your research for this project would include: The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Text & Performance Quarterly, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Communication Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Journal of Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Feminist Media Studies, Signs, Journal of Gender Studies, Gender & Society, Gender and Language; Gender, Work and Organization, Feminist Studies, Politics & Gender, Sex Roles.

Scholarly or academic book publishers include any university press (e.g. University of South Carolina Press, University of Alabama Press, New York University Press), as well as Routledge, Waveland, McFarland, Lexington, Rowman & Littlefield, MacMillan/Palgrave, Sense, Polity, Praeger, Sage, Springer, St. Martin, Verso, Westview, Greenwood, Peter Lang.

Credible sources of information found online include major newspapers: The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Post, The Guardian, The Boston Globe; major news and/or editorial publications: The New Yorker, The Atlantic, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Time, The Nation. Other online sources that often write about issues related to gender include the following, but note that these pieces also express particular opinions and may be potentially biased: Huffington Post, Slate, Salon, Jezebel, Vox.

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