English 201: Assignment 3
Annotated Bibliography + Proposal for Problem/Solution Essay
Value: 125 points
Documentation Style: MLA (or APA, with approval)
• Annotated Bibliography: 7 sources minimum; kinds of sources are listed below; each annotation should be a summary of 100-150 words
• Proposal: a single essay (300-400 words) that addresses the following
o Identifies the topic of your annotated bibliography: Establishes the problem you are trying to solve.
o Gives an overview of the perspectives all the sources in your annotated bibliography
Where they agree
Where they disagree
Gaps in the research for further study (another way of phrasing this is, What questions do you have, after reading all six sources?)
o Describes the following for how you will continue with your research:
The refined problem and a research question based on that problem
The stakeholders for this problem
The audience for your research paper (this may be one of the stakeholders identified above)
o You do not need a solution at this stage of the writing process.
Part 1: Annotated Bibliography:
In MLA style this document looks like a Works Cited page with a brief summary (100-150 words) of the article immediately following each entry. The seven sources must be closely related to each other. Note: The age limits are 5 years for articles, ten years for books.
Required sources—minimum six:
• Egan: Reference Egan from at least three different parts of the book—beginning, middle, and end—with one reference being a summary of a major concept or section
• Article from academic journal (preferably peer reviewed): 4 minimum
• Chapter from a book a different book than above: 1 minimum
Optional sources—any combination of at least four different kinds:
• Article from academic journal
• Chapter from a different book than above
• Specialized encyclopedia (e.g., The Harvard Dictionary of Music, not Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, or similarly general sources)
• Article from a magazine (popular or specialized)
• Article from a trade publication
• Article from a newspaper of record (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal)
• Primary documents (historical journals, letters, legislation, etc.)
• Government document
• Credible and specialized website (see tutorial on credible websites on Blackboard)
• Non-print media from credible sources, for example, documentaries, interviews, or TED Talks
• Definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (available only through Park Library, the one on the web is not the historical dictionary and is not allowed)
• Highly generalized websites or ones that have questionable credibility for some reason. There is virtually always a credible substitute: the Mayo Clinic site is better than WebMD; the National Cancer Association site is better than LiveStrong; the WNBA official site is better than Ask.com.
• Blogs: we will take these on a case-by-case basis, but I will always ask you to try to find an alternative first.
Part 2: The Proposal for Further Research:
A formal essay of roughly 300-400 words that identifies a problem for research and then explores and narrows it to a specific problem that you will ultimately make a recommendation on. The proposal will do three things: first, identify your interest in and perspective on that topic, and how and why this problem is timely and relevant to a specific audience; second, give an overview of your seven sources and how they agree and disagree on this problem; and third, based on this research, identify your refined research question and how further research would be interesting or of benefit to your specific audience.
You do not need to have either a thesis or a solution at this point. The proposal is descriptive: it describes the problem, your knowledge of the problem based on your research to date, your potential audience; and what further research you need to do to write the research paper.
By its nature, the work you do for this assignment is preliminary, speculative, and exploratory, and therefore subject to change. We can live with that at this point of the semester. We formalize it in writing because writing it down makes it concrete. Writing gives us something to work on in the future, shows us where the gaps and weaknesses are, and sows the kernel for the big idea from which the whole project will grow.