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ENG 300 Intro to the Major

Steps in the Process

Step 1. Informed library research

  • Locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic.  
  • Search for recent scholarly books.  Sort your results in WorldCAT by Date (Newest First)
  • Use MLA Bibliography to find scholarly articles or chapters in books.   
  • Use Interlibrary Loan to request books,chapters in books, or articles our library does not have. 

Step 2. Briefly examine and review the actual items

  • Books should be from a reputable and scholarly publisher.   Look for books published by a University Press, a scholarly organization or a known scholarly independent press.  
  • Is the author an expert in the field?  Look at the book jacket, forward or preface of the book to locate author's credentials and scholarly association.  Google the author(s) to assess their credentials. 

Step 3. Choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic

Step 4. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article or chapter. 

Include one or more sentences that

  • The authority or background of the author
  • Comment on the intended audience
  • Compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
  • Explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Step 5. Cite the book, article, or chapter using MLA style.

This example uses MLA style (MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation:

Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living. 
         - Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA

Steps in Process Adapted from:  How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography. Site located at Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA