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History 301 - Zaldivar

Course guide for HIST 301 Spring 2021.

Creating an annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a reference list of potential resources with a summary you write for each item in the list. See the boxes below for bullet points on what to include in your summary paragraph and an example. 

As you do your research be sure to record the citation information on each resource you find that is relevant to your topic. This is where Zotero comes in handy to collect all your sources in one place. 

Format your sources in Chicago style (from scratch or use a citation generator such as Zotero, KnightCite or one you are familiar with.) 

Group your citations by Primary or Secondary categories with a centered header, then within the categories, arrange the citations in alphabetical order

Each item uses hanging indent for the citation and paragraph format for the annotation text as seen in the example below. 

Read and summarize each source and add the summary just below the citation for that item. See the next section below for tips on your summary. 

What to include in an annotated bibliography

Think of this as a checklist (with explanations)!

Primary Sources (Keep in mind these are different from secondary source materials so are analyzed differently.) 

  • A description of the object or document including its age, condition, etc. 
  • If a document, who wrote it (remember this should be first hand testimony or description, not 'someone writing about what they were told.)
  • if you are working with a translation of a document, who is the translator? Are there other translations available and do they agree? 
  • Where is it held (what archive, museum, collection)?
  • Is it authentic? Is there any doubt as to its authenticity? 
  • How does this relate to your topic? 

Secondary Sources (do NOT use the abstract found at the beginning of many scholarly articles as that is the author's summary of the article and will not answer many of the questions below.) 

  • Who wrote the book, article or website? What are their qualifications to write on this subject? 
  • When was this published? For historians, it is good to acknowledge older publications and writings as earlier work may have been superceded by more recent works or evidence. 
  • Who is this written for? (National Geographic writes for a general audience, where The Journal of Economic History is for scholars--you need to use the scholarly.) 
  • What is the argument or thesis of this book/book chapter/article? 
  • is there any bias or point of view that might affect the analysis? 
  • How does this fit into the scholarly conversation on the topic (is it controversial, are there other scholars who argue against this or is it widely cited as being the best research on the topic?) 
  • How does this relate to your research topic (scholarspeak: How is it relevant/?)

Example annotated bibliography

[Disclaimer— The student’s research paper on women' activity in Southern California commerce for this annotation is fictional. This Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) annotation example is for a real article I wrote so there is a certain bias.]


Secondary Sources 

Downie, Judith A. “The Early Brewing industry in San Diego, California: The San Diego Brewing Company.” Brewery History 177 (2018): 14-26.

            Downie founded the Brewchive® special collection at the California State University San Marcos to collect and preserve the record of San Diego County craft beer industry. She currently curates the collection and presents and writes on San Diego brewery history as part of her position as the Special Collections and History Librarian. Her work has cited in a range of publications.  

Brewery History is a peer-reviewed journal for beer and brewery historians. Many of the submissions are focused on production and operations with an international scope. In this article Downie presents the history of the longest-lived company by name in the area, the San Diego Brewing Company. The article traces the business from its beginning in the late 19th century through current ownership. Her interest in women and underrepresented populations is evident in the discussion of the role of women and German immigrants in the regional growth and industrialization of San Diego’s brewing industry.

Being that the article is recently published by a foreign press, it has been not been cited in other work to date. This work is important to scholars doing future historical study as San Diego is known for having the highest regional concentration of craft breweries in the US. Who starts craft breweries and their success and failure are examples of growth and change mirrored in many forms of commerce.

As my paper examines the role of women in the commercial development of Southern California, this article is relevant in illustrating women were involved at all levels of commerce in the 19th Century as the wives of early owners held stock in the company. An aspect I had not considered was that women could enter the business world of through inheritance. This was the case of the first two breweries in San Diego which Downie discusses as part of the historical background of the local brewing industry and I may include in my paper with further evidence.

Judith Downie

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Judith Downie
KEL 5010 (when we can meet F2F)
760-750-4374 (For the duration of the shutdown, it is best to email
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