Not long ago, I wrote a post complaining about having to write a detailed, 10+ page annotated bibliography for a course that I have been taking this semester. It seemed like such a large amount of work to have to do for so very little reward. Well, I don’t mind telling you that I have since had to eat my own words!
I have found that this exercise not only helped me digest the articles I am reading for my final paper, but it also offers an excellent framework for organizing blog posts and generating blog content. Because I have found this assignment so useful, today I share with you a general outline for writing your own scholarly article reviews for your blog:
- Introduce the article: Start your blog post with a brief introduction of the article topic.
- Cite the article: I used an MLA formatted citation (like what you would put on the Works Cited page of a research paper) since that is the format I am using for my final paper. However, you might choose to use a different format depending on the topic of your article. For example, if you are a psychology or business writer, you might choose to use APA.
- Link to the article: Whenever possible, include a link to the full article online in case your readers would like to check it out for themselves. You might also invite your readers to review the article before joining you in a discussion in your comment section.
- Summarize the article: For my annotated bibliography assignment, I was directed to write “one full paragraph which concisely summarizes the main points/ideas and evidence the writer presents in the article.” I started there, and then made revisions as necessary to meet the needs of my blog. Remember, it is easier to read shorter paragraphs online than in print. What works as a complete paragraph in a formal paper may need to be broken up into several blog paragraphs to aid in readability.
- Evaluate/Analyze the article: Use this section to place the article “in a larger context (other secondary sources, general literary approaches,” major critical issues, etc.) Again, this may be one paragraph or a couple of paragraphs.
- Include an excerpt: Include a “brief passage, or a full sentence or two from the author to let the reader hear her/his voice and state a point in her/his own words.” I use quotation marks around this quote, but I also use the quote function in my WordPress editor to set the excerpt off from the rest of the blog post text so it is obvious to the reader that it is a quote and not my original writing (ALWAYS give credit where credit is due!)
- Include an image. You might use an image of the article’s author or pull quotes from the article you are reviewing and use a website like quozio.com to create “Pinnable” memes that you may then share on Pinterest and other social media outlets to drive traffic back to your blog.
One of the benefits of reviewing scholarly articles for your blog is the fact that this type of content will help illustrate that you are an expert in your field. Whether you are blogging about your kids or blogging about your cats (or starting your own freelance consulting business!!) the incorporation of outside sources can show your readers that you are yourself a reliable source.
Now that I have found this form of blog post to be so useful, you may look forward to reading annotated bibliography entries here long after my final paper has been submitted. If you enjoy my scholarly writing, you might also enjoy my new book, Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing. Buy your copy on Kindle today for just 99 cents!