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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): ANNOTATIONS

How to cite sources according to MLA

Not All Information is Created Equal!

Once you have found information that meets your information need, you need to analyze and evaluate these information sources.

Annotations: The Otis Way

Annotations done the Otis Way are a detailed explanation of your evaluation process. They may be required for some assignments.

Usually, annotations are used to explain relevancy - why you used this source, why it is special, and other comments.

At Otis, we have you expanded them to include details about why you trust--or do not trust--a source. Depending on the level of your class, the annotation must cover 3-6 of these criteria:

These annotations are a way to assess your information literacy skills. They encourage you to think critically about the reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view of any information source.

Check out these sample annotations

Helpful Guides:

Learning Goal

Otis College graduates will be able to assemble, evaluate, and ethically use information from diverse sources to accomplish a specific purpose.

The world of information is constantly changing. Today we are more than just consumers. We are now also creators of new knowledge and information.

Information literacy is a set of skills and practices that support your ability to think critically about the information you use and create.

Information literacy is a way of knowing and thinking about all the kinds of information you encounter. To be information literate requires that you develop habits of mind that engage you in a self-directed, critical self-reflection about ways you learn what you don't know. These are important skills for any educated person and it has been identified by employers as an important skill desired of college graduates as they enter the job market. (What Employers Want)

Annotation Builder

Use this FORM to help you write your annotations.

It is designed to help remind you what needs to be included.

Sample Annotation: Scholarly Source

Scholarly / Academic Source

Zemel, Carol. "Sorrowing Women, Rescuing Men: Van Gogh's Images of Women and Family." Art History, vol. 10, no. 3, Sept. 1987, p. 351. Art & Architecture Source.

[Author Credentials] Carol Zemel is an art historian with a PhD from Columbia University. She has authored many books and articles in art journals. She was a Professor in the Department of Visual Art & Art History at New York University.

[Audience / Type of Information] Art History is a peer-reviewed journal. The audience for it is art historians and probably undergraduate majors in art history. The article is an in-depth discussion (24 pages) on the topic. It contains only black and white illustrations. Otherwise, the text is mostly text-based with lots of footnotes and a bibliography.

[Purpose / Bias / Point of View] The author has a feminist focus, and she uses historical information to demonstrate that VG's paintings of women reflected society views on female sexuality and prostitution. She argues that he viewed prostitutes as fallen women who could be saved through a proper domestic life.  The author questions the 19th century male assumption of what all women inherently wanted.

[Currency of the Source] This article was published in 1987, which was after the feminist theory had been well developed so that perspective is included. There were a couple of other articles about Van Gogh and women that I can also use as a comparison.

[Coverage / Scope / Content] The author thoroughly covers this content, although the subject is quite narrow in scope.

[Relevance to Paper] This article discusses the images of women and family in the paintings Vincent van Gogh. I was interested in Van Gogh’s views about women and there was a substantial number of examples and theories of Van Gogh’s view about women that I can use in my paper.

Rubric for Information Literacy

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