Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography is an exercise in collaborative scholarly research that will have the added benefit of creating a useful resource that may benefit later work, both in this class and beyond. This assignment is due on November 30th, 2015.

Using Zotero

The work of this assignment will be carried out using Zotero, so if you aren’t already a user, you should create an account and start familiarizing yourself with it. The Zotero website includes a helpful video and quick start guide. Once you’ve installed Zotero and are comfortable working with it in single user-library mode, request to join our ENGL 386 group to start working in its collaborative mode. As part of the group, you’ll see a new library icon in the left pane of your Zotero interface. Click on that library to see items that are now shared among other members of our group. To add items to our group library, simply drag them from your personal library and drop them in the group library. Make sure you hit your “sync” button after doing this, or set your account to synchronise automatically.

Again, here are the first steps you should complete to begin working on this assignment:

  1. Create a Zotero account.
  2. Join the engl386 working group.
  3. Install Zotero on your computer.
  4. Configure your Zotero installation to “sync” with the account you’ve just created.


For this assignment, your goal is to find 5 scholarly resources that contribute to your undersatnding to the primary texts we’re reading this semester (or to comics and graphic novels generally speaking). These may be journal articles, scholarly monographs, book chapters, etc. The items you contribute should all be unique, so when you find an item you wish to add, make sure that it is not already in our library. Locate items of potential interest by searching the databases available through the UMW Libraries website, or make use of public databases like Google Scholar.

Each of the 5 items you add should include an annotation: a “note” attached to the citation in which you write (in about 200 words) 1) what is this piece about? 2) what is its principle argument? 3) how might it be useful for further study? 4) anything else we should know about it? To do this competently, you’ll need to actually read the item in question so that your annotations can be well-informed by your understanding of its author’s argument.

And again, the steps for adding each annotation are as follows:

  1. Use a database to locate relevant, scholarly item of interest
  2. Check to see if that item is already in our database. (If it is, repeat step 1.)
  3. Save the items record into our group library, tagging it with your initials (e.g. “znw”)
  4. Read it carefully
  5. Write your annotation (“note”) and attach it to that item


As you add your annotated items, use keyword tags to identify what the item is about. Additionally, tag the items you’ve contributed with your initials (e.g. “znw”) and include your initials at the conclusion of your annotation’s text.

For the Canvas submission, use the Zotero website to browse the public library for our collection. Find the unique URL for those 5 items that are tagged with your initials, and submit that URL for Canvas.


This assignment is worth 100 points, with 20 points available for each of those 5 items. Those items that are relevant, appropriately scholarly, properly-documented and well-annotated will receive a full 20 points.



[“Zotero up close” image by Flickr user karindalziel. CC BY.]