Critically Annotated Bibliography

What is the Annotated Bibliography?

An Annotated Bibliography is, of course, a set of references from the philosophical, psychological, neurobiological, and computer science literatures relevant to the topic you presented in your Term Paper Prospectus. References may include articles, books, presentations, unpublished manuscripts, etc.--think peer-reviewed, scholarly contributions to the literature in question.

Note that references do not include encyclopedia entries. To be sure, encyclopedia entries (particularly the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) can help to understand the issues, but they are merely expository. The bibliographies they provide are an excellent place to start insofar as they serve to catalogue the most important works.

Your reference list should include such classic works on the topic as well as more recent developments of the topic, as we discussed when we met to go over your Prospectus. Compiling the list of references is no small matter. Fortunately, there are a number of keyword searchable indices to help. (See the resources page on the main course page).

A critically annotated bibliography is not just a list of references, however. Attached to each reference is a 1/2 to 1 page summary explanation of the central argument or arguments of the article or book in question. Note that these annotations are your explanations: Quotes from the article or book--or, indeed, any source--are not allowed. Space permitting, you will also include sketches of criticisms or critical directions to use in pursuing your own argument.

Why do we have to write an Annotated Bibliography?

Your annotations are an important resource for 1) understanding the literature and how one article bears on or relates to another and 2) providing insight and text that can be employed in writing your term paper.

Thus your critically annotated bibliography provides the foundation for, and inroad to, writing your term paper. As a foundation, it is especially important that you be careful to not miss any especially important references or fail to give a clear, careful, and correct annotation of each reference.

What format should be used for the Annotated Bibliography?

You must have at least 10 references, and at least 5 of those references must be verifiably catalogued in the Philosopher's Index, unless I have indicated otherwise in conversation.

Each reference must appear at the top of a new page, followed by your critical annotation. The annotations must be double spaced in a reasonable (10 or 12 point) font. No annotation may be more than one page.

I do not care in the slightest what style you use, provided it is clear and unambiguous. I should be able to locate the source myself from your citation of it.

When is the Annotated Bibliography due?

According to our calendar, the Annotated Bibliography is due by email to me,, Thursday April 9.

What is the Annotated Bibliography worth?

As per the syllabus, the Annotated Bibliography is worth 100 points.