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UMKC University Libraries

PHILOS 320 History of Modern Philosophy

This resource guide was developed specifically for Philosophy 320 and the Semester Research Project. The guide provides access to numerous research tools and services directly related to your project.

General Thesis and Thesis Statement

Read a general work(s). While you are reading to get an overview of the topic:

Read with a critical eye
Take notes start on bibliography determine relevance to research project

Why is this a good article for your topic?

What are they saying overall? What is the takeaway?

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes a paragraph following each citation that summarizes the work.

An annotation can help the reader determine the value of each work on the topic and the contribution it might make to his own research. Two common types of annotated bibliographies are descriptive and critical

A critical annotation includes value judgments or comments on the effectiveness of the work. In this context, critical means evaluative and may include both positive and negative comments. A critical annotation may contain the information found in a descriptive annotation and discuss some of the following features:

  • The importance of the work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • The author’s bias or tone
  • The author’s qualifications for writing the work
  • The accuracy of the information in the source
  • Limitations or significant omissions
  • The work’s contribution to the literature of the subject
  • Comparison with other works on the topic

A descriptive annotation may summarize:

  • The main purpose or idea of the work
  • The contents of the work
  • The author’s conclusions
  • The intended audience
  • The author’s research methods
  • Special features of the work such as illustrations, maps, tables, etc.

Annotation Guides

Cornell University Library (2008)
How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

Memorial University of Newfoundland Queen Elizabeth II Library
How to Write Annotated Bibliographies

Purdue University, The OWL at Purdue - OWL Materials
Annotated Bibliography Samples

University of California, Santa Cruz University Library.
How-to . . . Write an Annotated Bibliography

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