Mary Wahl (Woods)
Types of Resources
Primary sources are original materials on which other works are based. It includes material such as letters, diaries, museum records, interviews and fieldwork. In some cases, newspaper articles may be primary sources if the material provides a first-hand account of an event.
- Memoir, blog post, or other personal narrative written by an artist
- Artist Statement
- News item describing an artist talk
- Interview of an artist
- Original work of art
Secondary sources describe, analyze, review or summarize primary sources.
- Research article critiquing an artist's complete body of work
- News item critiquing an exhibition
- Book about a style of painting
Here are resources you may find useful while formatting your paper:
- Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide from the official Chicago online manual (scroll down for sample citations)
- Chicago Manual of Style guide from OWL Purdue (look for types of resources to cite along the lefthand side, such as Books, Periodicals, Web Sources, etc.)
- CMS NB Sample Paper from OWL Purdue (NB means Notes and Bibliography)
- Stylebook - What is Chicago Style? from Illinois Valley Community College (look for Format, Creating a Bibliography, etc. along the lefthand side)
When you search for resources, you're likely going to find a lot of information... but is it reliable? You will need to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. Try evaluating the resource on the following five factors:
- Currency - is it current? Is currency important for the topic?
- Relevance - is it relevant to your assignment? Who is the audience?
- Authority - is the author/creator an expert on the subject?
- Accuracy - is the information supported by evidence?
- Purpose - is it biased? Is the resource trying to sell you on something?
Try evaluating these websites using the CRAAP Test:
Writing About Art
Here are some selected books in the Library on writing about art:
- Barnet, S. (2011). A Short Guide to Writing About Art. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
- Bernstein, M. , & Yatchisin, G. (2001). Writing for the Visual Arts. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
- Hudson, S. (2015). The Art of Writing About Art. Stamford, CT: Cengage.
- Sayre, H. (2002). Writing About Art. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Creating an Annotated Bibliography
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of sources such as books, articles, and documents. Each source in the bibliography is represented by a citation that includes the author (if given), title, and publication details of the source. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to help the reader evaluate whether the work cited is relevant to a specific research topic or line of inquiry.
Annotations versus abstracts
Abstracts are brief statements that present the main points of the original work. They normally do not include an evaluation of the work itself.
Annotations could be descriptive or evaluative, or a combination of both. A descriptive annotation summarizes the scope and content of a work whereas an evaluative annotation provides critical comment.
What an annotation usually includes?
Generally, annotations should be no more than 150 words (or 4-6 sentences long). They should be concise and well-written. Depending on your assignment, annotations may include some or all of the following information:
- Main focus or purpose of the work,
- Intended audience for the work,
- Usefulness or relevance to your research topic (or why it did not meet your expectations)
- Special features of the work that were unique or helpful
- Background and credibility of the author
- Conclusions or observations reached by the author
- Conclusions or observations reached by you
Which citation style to use
There are many style manuals with specific instructions on how to format your annotated bibliography. The style you use may depend on your subject discipline or the preference of your instructor. Whatever the format, be consistent with the same style throughout the bibliography.
Consult our sample style sheets for various Style Guides for examples of how to format citations in MLA, APA, or other style formats.
Visit the OneSearch FAQ to learn all about how to use the library's new online OneSearch tool to find articles, books and more. Or, watch the How to Use OneSearch video:
Use the Art Databases to find peer-reviewed articles, reviews, news items and more.
Using Google Scholar
You can find items the Oviatt Library owns using Google Scholar's "Find Text" capabilities. To activate the capabilities for your browser:
- Select Settings (near the top of the page), then Library links from the left menu
- In the search box, type "CSUN" and click the magnifying glass to perform search
- Check the box next to "CSU, Northridge (SFX Find It at CSUN)"
- Click Save
After performing a search in Google Scholar, select the SFX Find It at CSUN link (to the right of the article) or the SFX: Additional Options link (located below the article description) for access to online full text, Oviatt Library holdings information, and Interlibrary Loan.
Citation Formatting Tools
Following are tools and resources helpful in managing citations:
EndNote - online tool for collecting, managing, and creating a bibliography from your citations.
See Managing Citations Using EndNote Web for more information on this tool.
EasyBib - MLA style bibliography composer
Generate a bibliography in Microsoft Word
Son of Citation Machine - MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian citation style composer