Writing: Anotated Bibliography

Information is taken from the current Arts and Sciences Handbook. Any discrepancies are resolved in favor of the official printed version found at the arts section of the Kingdom of Meridies Homepage.

General Comments not specific to any category

If there is no documentation, the item will not be judged to afford the entrant the opportunity to better exhibit their piece and re-enter the next fair.

Entry Requirements for Writing Entries

Writing: Anotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes all the background research that would allow someone to produce a project. It is a project –in-a-box. A beginner should be able to use an annotated bibliography as an “armchair director” that would allow him or her to produce the actual item. In other words, an annotated bibliography is the research package. If you are interested, it is also an opportunity to enter project documentation ahead of entering the actual project itself.

Organizational Format for Annotated Bibliographies

Subject tabs that divide the sections are highly encouraged.

Cover Page : Theme/Title, Category, SCA Name, Mundane Name, Contact Information, SCA Group

Summary : Description of the bibliography's focus which highlights two or three of the most important points.

Bibliography : List one source at time with a detailed description of what information was used and from where it came.

Conclusion : Wrap up thoughts and draw conclusions. If you have any personal thoughts or opinions which you wish to include in your bibliography, this section is where those ideas belong.

Pictorial Examples or Text Sources: Pictures of extant items which exemplify characteristics the support the research. If at all possible, it is important to include pictures of actual items (not copies of the book covers) so that a beginner knows what the final product would look like. Highlighted copies of important text sources that support any conclusions or opinions may be included as well.

Category guidelines for Annotated Bibliography

Narrow focus : Bibliographies should focus on a specific topic. An annotated bibliography should have a fine focus because it is not intended to be a compendium or an encyclopedic project. A bibliography that focuses on a general category is too broad, a specific style or theme is more appropriate. For example, bibliographies with the themes of embroidery, costuming, or illumination are not specific enough. The focus needs to be much narrower than that. Good examples of a narrow focus are: Elizabethan Blackwork, Spanish Farthingales, or 14th Century French Gothic Manuscript Illumination.

Number of Bibliographical Entries: Generally, most entries should have at least six to eight sources listed. If the focus occurs in an area in which it is difficult to find information, fewer sources may be acceptable. Individual Sources should be varied and each should contribute something different or unique.

Please be careful when researching a topic that seems difficult. Before you assume that you have chosen a difficult subject to research, be certain to dig further and exhaust all possible avenues before assuming that you have found all the information that is available.

Make certain that you have adequately documented a particular point or aspect. Normally, two or three different sources will provide the needed validity or reinforcement. You should use the same variety of sources that you would use for any project. As always, stay away from tertiary sources.

Citation of Sources: Use an established writing guide and follow the bibliographical format. There are several different writing guidelines available. The different styles developed from the individual needs of various academic disciplines. The main purpose of writing style guide is so that the information and citations are provided in a consistent format.

Scholars in the SCA are not pursuing graduate style work. So, all a entrant needs to do is pick one of the writing styles and follow it. Some possibilities are: Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian), Modern Language Association (MLA), or American Psychological Association (APA).

Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian)

Chicago Manual of Style

History: Documenting Sources. ChicagoStyle.

MLA - Modern Language Association

A Guide for Writing Research Papers Based on Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation

Humanities: Documenting Sources. MLA Manuscript Format.

APA - American Psychological Association

A Guide for Writing Research Papers based on Styles Recommended by The American Psychological Association

Social Sciences: Documenting Sources. APA Manuscript Format.

Annotation or Description : It should include a description of the informational content as well as an evaluation of that information. If using an entire book, be specific about which chapters or pages were used to obtain the information.

If a source seems to have a cultural bias or some type of slant, be certain to include this information in your evaluation of its content value.

Things to consider when deciding which sources to use: Is the author reputable? Is there a bibliography included in the book or article? Is there a slant or bias? What is the quality of information provided? Is the information primary, secondary, or tertiary? How much of the information relates to period?

As always, be careful with web pages. Be certain to include the date that you used when citing information from a web page. The internet is very dynamic and web pages frequently change or even disappear.


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