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African Studies: Annotated bibliography project

A guide to UF Libraries' research and teaching resources in African Studies. Feel free to let us know what would be useful to have included.

Instructions: Annotated bibliography project for 2013

Project bibliography

For the written project and 80% of your course grade (two drafts at 20% each plus the final version at 40%), evaluate a variety of library resources by means of an annotated bibliography. Our focus throughout the course and for this project is on library research methods rather than the results of your searching efforts (i.e. the mining tools, drills and pickaxes rather than the scholarly gems that you'll ultimately seek with these tools as the basis for term papers, theses, etc.). Refer to the syllabus and individual class presentations to see examples of material that should be considered. While you may include materials that you have located in your research, the focus is on your evaluation of the library research tools you used to find them. One way to demonstrate the usefulness of a tool is to provide examples of the material you found with it, but most important in annotations are critical, comparative and evaluative statements about the bibliographic tools themselves. This is not a scavenger hunt, but is intended to be useful and have lasting value for your own work. You will bring together a number of disparate resources and demonstrate the relative value of these tools after you have employed them to advance your research. Use an abstract, the selections themselves and your critical, discursive annotations to assist you in providing a cohesive, contextual, narrative perspective to tie everything together.

Two draft projects (Phase I: 20% of course grade; Phase II: 20% of course grade) are due in class on October 8  and November 5, 2013.
Include 10-12 citations in your draft, annotating about half of these. A face-to-face consultation with the instructor regarding your bibliography is required for full final credit. I'm available for appointments while you're working on the drafts or (if you prefer) soon after they've been submitted, but you must arrange to meet with me (at a time of our mutual convenience, so don't wait until the last minute) before your final project is due. Evaluation of the draft will consider content and format primarily and allow feedback on the annotations; narrative annotations and effective responsiveness to my comments on the drafts will be emphasized in the final project grade. At my discretion, late papers may be approved prior to the due date, but such approval and any subsequent point penalties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Final projects (40% of course grade) are due in class on December 3, 2013.
An abstract, preface or introduction and annotations for at least 20 entries are required. I'll re-evaluate the content and form of the citations in light of how you've addressed and incorporated my comments from the drafts.

Required elements for the final project:

  • Include an explanatory preface or abstract, stating the purpose of the bibliography (describe the bibliography and its value to your research rather than focusing exclusively the research itself) in no more than one page to set the context.
  • A minimum of 40 citations will comprise the body of the project. Consistent and correct citation format (use the style guide for one of your own discipline's major journals) is required. Electronic sources also must be cited in proper, consistent format (use examples from the style guides listed below--please do NOT simply use the web site url of the platform, but rather be specific about which database you have employed in your searching).
  • At least 20 of these citations should be annotated with anything from one sentence to a paragraph or so.
  • At least 10 of these annotated citations should be substantive, critical notes on the value of research tools, the rest can be descriptive comments on the usefulness of the item or its value to your topic.
  • Of these ten, please include the following two resources presented in class to compare & evaluate:
  • Africa Bibliography. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. Annual. 1985-  Z3501 .A37 Library West Reference;
  • African Studies Abstracts. The abstracts journal of the African Studies Centre, Leiden. London: Hans Zell. Quarterly. 1994-2002. DT1 .L37 Library West Reference; note the printed journal is succeeded by ASA Online


Previous final project submissions (here and here) are available in the UF Institutional Repository. An extra credit bonus of 5 points is available if you self-submit your project there. Note that you'll need prior approval to do this (it just takes an email and a day to get it done).

Citation format and style guides

AAA Style Guide. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association [electronic edition 2009 available at].

Chicago manual of style. 16th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Library West, Ref. Z253 .U69 2010 (latest ed. in Reference).

Formating Theses and Dissertations. Gainesville: Graduate Editorial, Graduate School, University of Florida.

MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 7th edition. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Library West, Ref. LB2369 .G53 2009 (latest ed. in Reference).

Turabian, Kate L. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers. 7th edition. Rev. by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Library West, Ref LB2369 .T8 2007 (latest ed. in Reference).

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