Researched Argument Essay Project: Annotated Bibliography
English 1302 – Fall 2015 – Mrs. Arreola
Topic/Questions ? Tentative Thesis Statement ? Research ? Annotated Bib. ? Final Thesis statement ? Research paper ? Presentation
Before You Begin, Some Information:
Purpose: The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to help you gather and record information about sources related to the subject you are researching so that when it comes time to write your actual research paper, you have a number of sources and a good chunk of information already gathered.
Definition: A bibliography is a list of sources and the sources’ publication information (i.e., a Works Cited page). You already know that annotations are notes on a text. An annotated bibliography, then, is a bibliography of secondary sources in which each listed (cited) source is followed by “notes” on that source.
Description: An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research that has been done on a given topic. Like any bibliography, an annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of research sources. In addition to bibliographic data, an annotated bibliography provides a concise summary of each source and some assessment of its value or relevance.
Specific Information about Annotations:
In each annotation, you will do each of these things:
? Summarize the overall argument and structure of the source
What is the entire source about, including the different sections? Also, what is the author’s primary reason for writing/main argument? What are the main points or pieces of evidence the author brings up in support of the argument, or in the discussion?
? Explain the source’s relevance to your project
What information will be directly pertinent to your research? Which points? Be very specific.
? Discuss any particular strengths or weaknesses of the source (the quality of the source)
Is the source dated? Current? Inaccurate? Poorly organized? Highly informative? Did the author(s) hide information? Is the source credible? Why or why not? Etc.
Summarizing the argument of a source:
An annotation briefly restates the main argument of a source. An annotation of an academic source, for example, typically identifies its thesis (or research question, or hypothesis), its major methods of investigation, and its main conclusions. Keep in mind that identifying the argument of a source is a different task than describing or listing its contents. Rather than listing contents, an annotation should account for why the contents are there. In other words, what is the purpose of the information? What is the author trying to do?
Assessing the relevance and value of sources:
Your annotation should now go on to briefly assess the value of the source to an investigation of your research question or problem. If your bibliography is part of a research project, briefly identify how you intend to use the source and why. If your bibliography is an independent project, try to assess the source’s contribution to the research on your topic. When you discuss the relevance of the source to your project, identify specific kinds of information, specific sections, or specific arguments from the source that you believe will help you create/support your argument.
In order to determine how you will use the source or define its contribution, you will need to assess the quality of the argument: why is it of value? What are its limitations? How well defined is its research problem? How effective is its method of investigation? How good is the evidence? Would you draw the same conclusions from the evidence?
What if I’m only using one chapter from a whole book for my research project?
If your source includes multiple chapters but only one or two chapters are particularly relevant to your research, begin your annotation by describing the topic of the whole text. Then, explain that you are only using certain chapters from the text, and give the chapter’s/chapters’ title(s). Proceed to include information on all three bullets.
In this annotated bibliography assignment, you’ll be collecting information related to your topic/argument that you can later use in your RAE, when you actually create your written argument essay.
Your intended audience for this essay (besides me) is a research publishing organization who is interested in publishing your annotated bibliography for other scholars to reference when they do research. Therefore, you will be using an academic tone in your writing (no second person, few contractions).
In your annotated bibliography, you will cite/annotate at least five sources (you may have more, though you will not receive extra credit on your annotated bibliography if you do; you will, though, perhaps be better prepared to write your RAE). One of these sources must include information about a position that opposes your own argument. Each annotation must be 120-180 words (about 150 words). To help ensure that you are looking up quality sources, you will be required to use at least four of the sources from your annotated bibliography in your Researched Argument Essay.
Print TWO COPIES or make TWO photocopies of each of the sources that you decide to create an annotation for as you do your research. You are required to submit a clean copy of these sources along with your completed annotated bibliography (or a sheet with explicit instructions on how to find the sources).
Each time you bring new annotations to class, bring the ones you’ve already written, too. (You don’t need to reprint them. Just bring the documents you brought to class last time.)
Each annotation you compose should follow MLA formatting and documentation standards (1” margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, etc.). Be sure to include your header, your five-line heading, and an original title. Remember, the heading and title go only on the first page.
Annotated bibliographies do not follow the same formatting requirements as essays in that they do not require a Works Cited page. The reason for this is that you’ve already given the citations in the body of your document.
The citation in each of your annotations will follow the hanging indent rule (1/2”), as shown in the examples, just like they would on a Works Cited page (if you had one). The annotation beneath it will be indented 1/2”.
Remember that your sources and accompanying annotations must be listed alphabetically. Also, add a space after each completed annotation.
NOTE: Before you submit your completed annotated bibliography, you will write a short paragraph before your annotations begin. The purpose of this short paragraph is to give a little bit of context, a little bit of background, something that will explain how these annotations of these sources are connected. In this paragraph, you’ll describe 1) what your current thesis statement is now, 2) the main points you plan to use in support of that thesis, 3) what information you believe you still need to research for your Researched Argument Essay, and 4) why that topic/argument is important to real-life people.
Documentation in Annotated Bibliographies:
? Your annotated bibliography annotations will be all in your own words. Do not insufficiently paraphrase the source. In other words, you have to write the notes in your own voice. Do not look at the source while you’re typing your annotation. Instead, read the source until you understand it, and then write about the source. Paraphrases should completely and totally re-structure and re-word the ideas in the text.
? Annotated bibliographies are also different from regular essays because you do not need to include in-text citations in your annotated bibliography for paraphrases (quotes still need them). Here’s why: You cited the source of the paraphrased information at the very beginning of your annotation, and you’ve written the information using your own voice. Your reader understands all of your summary information is paraphrased from that source, and that the source of the information is not you. You’re relaying the information in your own words from the source that was cited. There is no question of taking undue credit.
? In the very rare case that you DO quote briefly (1-5 words) from the text, you would, of course, need to include an in-text citation with the appropriate page number.
Due dates: AB1.1 (Annotations #1 and #2) / Workshop Tuesday, September 29
AB1.2: (Annotations #3 and #4)/ Workshop Tuesday, October 6
AB1.3 (final draft) Thursday, October 8
Last chance for any credit for paper/electronic submission: Monday, October 12 @ 5 p.m.
*NOTE: From the day your Thesis Statement Assignment is due to the day your annotated bibliography is due is four weeks. Plan accordingly. You may want to begin your research early.
Final Draft Submission: You must have the following in your AB submission (submit in a small two-pocket folder in the order listed):
? Planning for the AB (thesis statement
? At least two drafts (besides your final draft)
that demonstrate your thoughtfulness, effort,
and substantial revision in the writing process
(This would include all annotations and
annotated bibliography drafts you
accumulated along the way)
? Any workshop peer revising sheets or
? *CLEAN printed copies of each source you
created an annotation for in your AB OR a
sheet with explicit instructions on how to find
Additionally, you will also need to submit a Microsoft Word or PDF version of your final draft to Turnitin via Blackboard before 5 p.m. two weekdays following the due date. Both paper and electronic submissions must be on time to avoid late point penalties. (See “Essay Late Policy” in this syllabus.)
A Note on Grading: Your annotated bibliography is worth 15% of your semester grade. Grading criteria include those listed on the Essay Grading Rubric, as well as the ones listed below:
? The thoroughness, quality, and relevance of your annotations and sources
? If you followed assignment instructions
? If you used a writing style appropriate for the rhetorical situation
? If you avoided local errors
? If you maintained accuracy and academic honesty in paraphrasing and documentation
A partially plagiarized annotation will negatively affect your entire assignment and can result in failure of the course. Be sure that you are not plagiarizing. If you’re not sure, ask.
? A one-page, double-spaced, four-paragraph letter (without a heading, like a real letter) in which you briefly describe:
o the stages and struggles of completing the project,
o how you sought and received responses from others (not including me),
o how those responses (including any received from me in a conference) helped you reshape, revise, and finalize the project,
o and what you have discovered about yourself as a writer when reflecting on the process of writing and completing the project.
? One copy of your final essay draft, + … (see below)
18 October 2014
Annotated Bibliography: Research on Teaching College Composition
In my Researched Argument Essay, I will argue that more teachers of college composition classrooms should adopt collaborative, “flipped-classroom” teaching practices that will allow students to work on their major writing assignments in class, where feedback is readily available, and will allow students to read and absorb content information, such as that found in textbooks, outside of class. I will argue that such classrooms more effectively foster student learning and student engagement. I will use comparisons between different kinds of classrooms, real-life case studies, and my own experiences to support my claim. I have most of the information I need, but I think my essay would be stronger if I could find a few more case studies in support of my argument. Also, even though I have information on some opposing positions, the information I have on those opposing positions is rather vague, so I would like to find another, more detailed source on those opposing positions. My argument is important because if colleges are not using the most effective means to teach their students composition, students’ educations may suffer.
Elbow, Peter. Vernacular Eloquence. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
In this book, Peter Elbow argues that using speech in the teaching of composition can help students become more confident and proficient writers. He centers his book around two primary arguments: 1) speech, or “speaking onto the page,” can be used during drafting stages to help students write in a language comfortable to them, and 2) speech can then be used during revising stages to help students hear and correct their mistakes. Elbow also
discusses social stigmas against using speech in writing and how writers can cope with these stigmas. This text is useful to my research because it introduces me to a method of teaching writing (using speech in writing) that I had never heard of before. More specifically, I can use Elbow’s arguments to support my own argument about the need to use the classroom as an opportunity for students to workshop with one another. Elbow constantly supports his arguments with commonsense examples and quotations from respected scholars. Moreover, he is careful to acknowledge and answer opposing arguments, which helps strengthen his own argument.
Shaughnessy, Mina P. Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing. New York: Oxford UP, 1977. Print.
Mina Shaughnessy argues in this seminal text that teachers can use errors to decipher . . .
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