PSCI 1050 - Annotated Bibliography

PSCI 1050





Annotated Bibliography: Due at 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 6

Your annotated bibliography will require you to utilize research skills drawing from the material presented in week 11. NOTE that if you use an oops pass for this assignment, it will give you only an extra 24 hours instead of the normal week. 

BEFORE embarking on this assignment, you should watch the following:

    • The assigned youtube video for week 11 (from the schedule page): "How to write an annotated bibliography." (You will be doing analytical annotations.) It will give you a general overview.
    • The video, "How to read a scholarly article," also from week 11.
    • Elearning videos on:
      • peer-reviewed sources
      • gray literature
      • searching for sources I
      • searching for sources II

You can find all of these on the elearning segment called "Annotated Bibliography Videos."

The following instructions are detailed. Follow them carefully.

I. Settle on a research question.

1. You will do this in conjunction with me. Start with what interests you as long as it is policy-related. It can be any aspect of domestic or foreign policy. Some examples:

    • access to health care
    • the threat from North Korea
    • reforming general education in universities and colleges*
    • slowing/stopping climate change
    • fixing Michigan's roads
    • dealing with white supremacist groups

* This one is not about what government should do but what universities and colleges should do.

Note that these have a fairly specific focus. For example, the first one is not "health care policy" (which is an enormously broad topic), but making health care more accessible (perhaps by ensuring insurance coverage, reducing costs, or providing for free from government revenue).

2. Once you have an idea(s), frame it in the form of a research question. To use the same example, the research question might be, "how can we ensure affordable access to health care for everyone?" (Obviously, if you don't support that position, you'd need to frame your topic and question differently.)

3. You then need to consult with me (not Mariia) through webex, NOT through email. This can be done during office hours or by appointment. Only when I have approved a topic may you proceed.


II. Search for peer-reviewed and gray literature sources.

Use what you learned in class the week of November 9 to search WMU databases. Find at least ten sources directly relevant to your research question. Make sure you don't include sources only tangentially related; keep the focus on your approved research question

III. Write annotations for each source.

Each annotation should be 100-150 words. Address the following along with anything else you deem important.

    1. What is (are) the main point(s) of the source?
    2. How does it address your question?

IV. Compile your annotated bibliography. Format:

Heading in upper right corner: name and date only. No title page.

A statement of your research question.

First source:

Head it either "Peer-Reviewed Source" or "Gray Literature Source" as appropriate.

Full citation formatted using Knightcite.

Annotation paragraph (100-150 words).

Second source:

Head it either "Peer-Reviewed Source" or "Gray Literature Source" as appropriate.

Full citation formatted using Knightcite.

Annotation paragraph (100-150 words).

And so on...

V. Citation format.

There are three dominant formats for citations: MLA, APA, and Chicago. It's not important which one you use. However, it is important that:

    • You use one of the three.
    • You use the same style for all citations.

You can either use Knightcite to generate citations or use the citation link found in most databases right on the page where you access the article to copy and paste it.

VI. Additional instructions.

    • You must have ten sources, at least six of which must be peer-reviewed. All of them must be either peer-reviewed or gray literature; news stories will not be accepted (that's too easy).
    • Make sure all sources directly address the research question.
    • DON'T COPY AND PASTE EVEN ONE SENTENCE OR PHRASE. That's called plagiarism and will get you an E for your course grade!
    • One final, IMPORTANT point regarding citations: do not use URLs for articles taken from WMU databases. Since the articles are all behind paywalls, they are not accessible for the general reader. Pretend I am not a WMU professor but someone outside the universit who is interested in your bibliography. I would not be able to click on a database link and connect to the article. Note this example from a previous semester course paper:

"Sen. Rockefeller Applauds New Plan to Help Improve Quality of Healthcare in U.S." Targeted News Service, Mar 29 2011, ProQuest. Web. 2 Nov. 2019.

This is not a clickable link for a reader not within the WMU ecosystem. The dead giveaway is the sequence, "" in the URL. The fact is that there is not enough information in this citation for me to find the article. NOTE: if you do this (provide links to articles from the databases), I will not accept your paper.