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PSCI 3500: Introduction to Peace Studies

Library research guide for PSCI 3500

Policy Paper Annotated Bibliography-Finding Articles

Requirements from your syllabus for your annotated bibliography:

An ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY containing ½ page summaries (single spaced) of at least four (4) scholarly journal articles (none of which are assigned readings for this course) on your subject. Your summaries cannot be simply a restatement of the published abstract of the article. You have to demonstrate that you read the article and grasped its important concepts and findings and their relevance to your policy issue.

A BIBLIOGRAPHY with full citations of EIGHT articles on your topic (the four you summarize plus four more).

Q: Why do I need to use scholarly journal articles?

A: Scholarly journal articles are written by experts in the field who can speak authoritatively on a topic because they have done the research (studies or tests). Then the articles are vetted by other experts in the field (their peers).

Image credit: http://undsci.berkeley.edu/images/us101/peerreview.gif

 

How do I find articles for my bibliography?

Step 1: Use your statement to determine your search terms. Your librarian's example is: The United Nations Security Council's marking of the Blue Line at the Lebanese/Syrian border has not decreased violence in the region.

The terms in bold above ("United Nations Security Council" and "Lebanese border") will be used as search terms in the database.

Step 2: Go to the UNT Libraries home page, select Databases (circled in red below) on the left hand side of the blue box, select JSTOR (highlighted in yellow below) from the "Go Directly to" drop down menu and click Go. (If you are off campus you will be asked to log in with your EUID and Password.)

Step 3: From the JSTOR home page type "United Nations Security Council" (highlighted in yellow below) into the search box. Then click the blue search button to the right. We are searching "United Nations Security Council" in quotes, this lets the database know you only want results with those 4 words back to back.

Step 4: The results page will give you over 2000 results. You need to narrow your search to make it more specific to you your statement. Add the terms and "Lebanese border" to the search box and click the Search button to the right. This will give you about 19 results that are more in line with your topic.

Step 5: If you are having trouble finding articles for your topic please contact your Political Science Librarian, you may just need to consider other search terms. Your professor suggests JSTOR, however, there are several other databases to find scholarly/peer reviewed articles. Ask your librarian for suggestions or use the Additional Electronic Resources tab in this research guide for alternatives.

I've found artlcles, now what about the annotations?

The Perdue Online Writing Lab has some excellent tips for writing and formatting an annotated bibliography. Specifically, they suggest the following:

  • Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is. For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.
  • Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

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