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CAL 301: Seminar in Writing and Research

Resources for Music & Technology students working on their senior projects.

Abstracts

Abstracts are short (100-150 word) summaries of an article usually written by the article's author. They allow researchers to decide without reading the full article whether it is relevant to their research. Abstracts appear before the article's introduction and contain the following components, as applicable:

  • purpose
  • methods
  • scope
  • results
  • conclusions
  • recommendations

Abstracts cannot be written until the work has been written, because you can't summarize something that doesn't exist. Ask yourself: What did you do? How did you do it? What did you discover?


Example from Purdue OWL:
 
Environmental policy makers and marketers are attracted by the notion of green consumerism. Yet, green consumerism is a contested concept, allowing for a wide range of translations in everyday discursive practices. This paper examines how young consumers construct their images of green consumerism. It makes a close reading of three narratives reflecting available subject positions for young green consumers: the Antihero, the Environmental Hero and the Anarchist. It reveals problems in the prevailing fragmented, gendered and individualistic notions of green consumerism, and discusses implications for policy and marketing practitioners.
 

Minna, Autio. “Narratives of ‘Green’ Consumers – the Antihero, the Environmental Hero and the Anarchist.” Journal of Consumer Behavior 8.1 (Jan/Feb 2009): 40-53.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

(Definition used with permission from How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography by Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA)

When annotating a citation, structure it in the following format:

 (click to enlarge)


Example:

Crowe, Cameron. "The True Life Confessions of Fleetwood Mac." Rolling Stone 24 March 1977: 235. Web. 24 January 2014. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-true-life-confessions-of-fleetwood-mac-19770324>.

This extended interview with the members of the band traces the history of the band, including the addition and subtraction of past and present members. While not a particularly critical look at the band, this article serves as useful background on the members of Fleetwood Mac at an important point in their careers.

Annotated Bibliographies: A Sample

Crowe, Cameron. "The True Life Confessions of Fleetwood Mac." Rolling Stone 24 March 1977: 235. Web. 24 January 2014. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-true-life-confessions-of-fleetwood-mac-19770324>.

This extended interview with the members of the band traces the history of the band, including the addition and subtraction of past and present members. While not a particularly critical look at the band, this article serves as useful background on the members of Fleetwood Mac at an important point in their careers.