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Write a two-paragraph annotation of an academic article. Summarize the source and include elements of deconstruction the begin analysis. Format the source in the APA style.

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As you read the article attached, read and annotate for summary and analysis, as well as a general understanding of the content needed to connect the texts across the conversation.

Annotating for summary: While you read, summarize each section or paragraph as concisely as possible. Be sure to summarize only the major events and ideas of the text without adding your thoughts so that you can pull the threads together to write a summary of the text. The summary notes can be reviewed to remember the text, deepen understanding and comprehension, and write a comprehensive summary.

Annotating for analysis: In addition to summarizing sections of the text as you read, you will want to ask critical questions of the text, note where you supplement the text with context (where you recognize allusions or make personal connections), recognize and record contradictions, and offer very brief interpretations. Critical annotations can be used to deconstruct the text for purposes of analysis.

Annotating for comprehension: While you are reading closely and critically, think of what else you can note (words you want to define, concepts you want to look up, connections across articles that can inform synthesis, reflections on your reading practices that track when or where you get distracted), but be sure not to write too much. Consider what could help you understand the text and topic better.

All three of these approaches are useful when reading this academic article.

Annotation

You will write an extended annotation that summarizes the text and includes elements of analysis and synthesis. When summarizing, be sure to avoid interpretation or editorialization. Integrating quotes can be useful. While the main goal of summarizing is to recount the essential elements of the reading that are priorities to the intention and meaning, an additional goal is to avoid stating your opinion (intentionally or unintentionally), which is not relevant to summary. Identifying key elements as you read and writing section summaries in the margins will still create a strong foundation for your summary.

Summary Annotation Template

The annotation should include all the required elements. Annotations are generally one or two paragraphs depending on the text being read, the information being gathered.

To create consistent annotations, it is useful to develop a template (or précis (Links to an external site.)) that includes all the information you intend to note while reading. While our initial goal is summary, we also want to construct our annotation template with the goal of analysis, perhaps even synthesis, in mind.

How to organize the summary of the academic article by reviewing an example of a general annotation template that includes a signal phrase and an in-text citation:

1)  In (“Article title,”) (Author full name) (verb: investigates, explores, examines) + (summary of article topic) and (verb: asks, questions, considers) + (state the research question/hypothesis).

Including the author(s) and the title of the text in the first sentence of the annotation with a specific verb is a great formula for a signal phrase. Listing the topic and research question is also very useful and can be included as one or two sentences. The beginning of the abstract often includes this information, but when writing an annotation for an article, pull content from beyond the abstract.

2) (Last name of author) (verb: argues, demonstrates, finds, reports, claims, asserts) that . . . “quote thesis/conclusion/argument of article with an in-text citation” (24).

The most important information to locate while reading a text is the thesis, which is likely the answer to the research question. Terms such as findings and results in the abstract usually signal that the thesis will follow, and the complete statement is often in the first few paragraphs and/or the conclusion.

3) (Author’s last name) findings (verb: support, refute, expand, complicate) + (connect the findings to your thesis or research question and the argument being made) or (connect to other research: a different author’s claim, a different position or argument or thesis).

To integrate the source into your writing, connect the findings of the article to your research by explaining how the article’s argument is related to your research. You can do this by noting how the thesis supports, refutes, expands, or complicates your research question or thesis. Analysis, interpretation, criticism, and evaluation can be included, and you can note limitations, but those steps require moving beyond summarizing the article and connecting it to the question.

Developing a solid understanding of what the author is arguing so that you can integrate it requires reading the article (with added attention to beginning, the results, and the end). Combining the three sentences together creates an annotation that summarizes the reading. The author’s name, article title, and publication may be mixed up or expanded for length and variety, but those key components should appear in the article annotations.

In order to populate this template, the required information must have been noticed and noted while reading the text. Thinking through an annotation template is a helpful step in preparing to read and annotate any text. By reading intentionally with the assignment in mind, you can avoid wasting time by highlighting the wrong things, which will result in needing to reread the text or not being able to find your way back to what you read.

More substantial annotations that include specific information, such as direct quotations or paraphrased details, can provide more than a summary overview and can prepare for analysis and serve as content for the text you are constructing. An extended annotation, such as our assignment, can both expand the three-sentence summary and add elements of analysis and synthesis.

Analysis

There are many specific types of analysis (Links to an external site.), but in general, when we talk about analyzing a text, we mean reading it carefully and dividing it into pieces to scrutinize each element. Like the terms annotation and argument, the term analysis is used as a verb and a noun, which can be confusing until you understand it in context. Analysis can be used to describe the act of reading for deconstruction and to gather data, and analysis can be used to describe what you do to the data you gather.

Adding Analysis to an Annotation

The template we reviewed will create a very strong annotation that summarizes the reading. To add elements of analysis, simply expand the template and your reading to include additional elements. Always state the article’s research question and findings and your interpretation and integration of your analysis, but you can also address details from the article to grow your discussion of the source. Consider adding some of the following elements from the article to the annotation that you will grow into a paragraph (or 2):

  • Method, study details, and parameters
  • Stated interpretation of results
  • Acknowledged limitations of research
  • Other limitations you noticed that were not acknowledged: criticize, deconstruct or problematize the research or the findings and/or identify the potential need for further study on this topic.

Adding a question to the three from above can allow us to include some of these considerations in our template. Let’s look at those three with an added #2:

  1. In (“Article title,”) (Author full name) (verb: investigates, explores, examines) + (summary of article topic) and (verb: asks, questions, considers) + (list the research question/hypothesis).
  2. (Author last name) employs, utilizes, conducts, applies . . . (discuss details of the research such as method, theory, sample, constant/variable . . . ).
  3. (Last name of author) (verb: argues, demonstrates, finds, reports, claims, asserts) that . . . “quote thesis/conclusion/argument of article with an in-text citation” (24). 
  4. (Author’s last name) findings (verb: support, refute, expand, complicate) + (connect the findings to your thesis or research question and the argument being made) or (connect to other research: a different author’s claim, a different position or argument or thesis).

The inclusion of the second question within the criteria we are using to annotate the text helps advance our summary toward analysis. The content can be added at the end or as a second paragraph, depending on your preference, assignment, and audience. Each question can be answered in one sentence or expanded to fill a few:

In “Body Imagine: Male Concepts of Body,” Franklin Anderson examines the potential impact of idealized media images on male body image and asks how the viewer internalizes that impact.

Anderson employs a convenience sampling method to administer a survey about body image to a group of ninety men on a college campus. Half of the participant group view advertisements showing idealized male images before completing the survey while the other half view advertisements with images of nature scenes. Analysis of the survey data shows that “the men who viewed idealized images prior to taking the survey gave 15% more negative responses than their counterparts” (Anderson 27).

Although Anderson finds that the 15% difference in survey responses is not significant enough to confirm that viewing idealized images impacts male body image, he argues that “there is a correlation between the viewing of idealized images and negative body image” and suggests that the images men see every day may have at least some impact on the way that they view their bodies (29).

Anderson’s research supports the idea that the visual representations men encounter may impact the way they view their bodies. While not establishing causality, the study does suggest a relationship between images in the media and male body image. While Anderson acknowledges that the study does not address the potential impact that viewing such images over an extended period of time might have on males, he overlooks the fact that participants were recruited on a college campus, which may have limited the amount of diversity among participants, especially in terms of age.

In a paper, this sample’s content would feed two or three paragraphs with transitions and integration, and move well into deconstruction of the text. The last part does add an element of analysis as evaluation by acknowledging a limitation of the research design, which is a great addition and worth including in your annotations when possible, but simply deconstructing the text is enough to meet the expectations for our annotation assignment.

Expanding the example above to include synthesis might include the following:

Anderson’s findings expand Dawson’s evidence relating the viewing of visual images and the presence of depression, and they refute Smith’s claim that men are bolstered by seeing representations of attractive men in the media. While Anderson acknowledges that his study does not address the potential impact that viewing such images over an extended period of time might have on males, he overlooks the fact that participants were recruited on a college campus may have limited the amount of diversity among participants, especially in terms of age. Dawson’s study, however, does include a broad range of subjects, but the total sample size is smaller. Smith, on the other hand, presents the smallest sample size, and he admits the limitations of his study based on the research design. Anderson even reports that Smith’s findings could not be replicated (28). Taken together, Anderson and Dawson provide stronger evidence in support of the claim that men are not empowered through the viewing of representations of idealized and stylized male bodies.

Exploring Annotation and Analysis

In addition to reading for the information you will need in your annotation, also note the information you will need for your reference (Journal, author(s), title, year, volume, other according to format style). You may think of it as reverse outlining the article. Consider the following general noteworthy elements:

  • Hypothesis or Research Question or Problem: What is it, and where is it stated?
  • Thesis, Findings, Results: What are they, where are they stated, and how are then demonstrated?
  • Context: Is there context that helps you understand the topic? Could it serve as useful context for your Analytic Exploration?
  • Review of Literature: Is there a literature review? How many sources are cited in the lit review? What important content is included? What other work is this built upon? Does it extend or replicate prior work or refute prior findings?
  • Research design: look for the method, methodology, sample, cited theories, length of study, any other elements of the research design.
  • Research and results: what do the authors do and what do they find?
  • Conclusions and Discussions: how are the findings interpreted and integrated into the larger conversation on the topic?

Noting these elements as you read and annotate the text will provide content to populate your extended annotation template for the assignment.

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