Section 1: Introduction to Research
- Write an introduction to your sources. 300 to 500 words.
- This critical preface states your research topic or issue and briefly explains it to your audience.
- It includes your research question.
- It should provide readers with an overview of your research process. For example, state the five sources you locate and why you have chosen to narrow down these sources to the three that you annotate.
- Finally, it should demonstrate how the annotated sources included in the bibliography are connected. What is their relevance to your topic? Are the authors key figures in the field you are researching?
Section 2: Annotated Bibliography
1) First, you will locate 5 decent sources on your topic during and after two library research days, one where you use the Internet and one where you use library databases. The sources you locate should be examples of public writing, similar to the kinds of articles we have been reading in class. Try to choose a variety of sources for how they help you learn about your topic and the problems associated with it. These sources might include newspaper articles, magazine articles, government sponsored studies, or even an individual chapter in a book. Locate each source by using the Internet or a library database. You will be evaluated on whether these articles are substantial, credible, and on the same narrowed topic.
2) Then you will choose the three (3) sources on which to focus in your annotated bibliography. As you decide which sources to focus on, ask yourself the following questions:
Are they “meaty” or substantial
- in length and perspectives (such as a feature article in a newspaper or magazine) or
- in breadth or depth of research (such as a government report)
- In depth of research (such as a newspaper expose)
Do they meet the evaluative criteria discussed in class (published by a disinterested, relatively unbiased publisher, vetted in some way, recent). Are they on same narrowed topic as other two sources?
3) Read each of your three best sources at least one time. Knowing these sources well will prepare you for Project IV.
Then for each source, you will write one well-developed paragraph (250 to 300 words) that describes what kind of source it is and considers its rhetorical situation—audience, publication venue, author. To write this paragraph, you will need to know what kind of publication the source came from (a news magazine for general readers; a trade journal for practicing nurses; a website aimed at cancer patients). Be sure you answer the following questions: who is the author (and what qualifications does the author have); who published the source; what is the purpose of this publishing venue; what biases or slants might be connected to this purpose; and who is the audience of this publication venue. This paragraph on rhetorical context may also consider the conversations in which the source is engaged; the main types of evidence the source employs (research studies, first-hand accounts, etc.); the stylistic and genre conventions of the source; the ways the author accommodates or appeals to his/her audience.
Checklist for Source essay:
The format for this assignment should follow MLA style. You must have an introductory statement. Citations and annotations should be formatted alphabetically.
The following components are required:
- The Introduction to Research paragraph(s) should contain an overview of the topic—cite and quote from your sources when necessary—and your interests in the topic.
- A third paragraph will describe your research process. What search terms did you use? What worked and how did you change your plan based upon your initial searches? Did you need to narrow or broaden your topic?
- Much of the essay will be the write-up and analysis of your sources (#3 above).
- Include a conclusion paragraph that draws connections among the sources telling me how they work together to give you a better sense of your final paper topic. What kinds of sources might you still need to locate? What gaps in knowledge about your topic exist that future research could fill?
- Your paper must have a bibliography page for the five sources, which will constitute both the works you have referred to in your essay and a brief bibliography on your topic. The bibliography page will appear at the end of the assignment. It is here that you will include the sentences for all 3-5 sources (see #1 above).