Assignment 2, Part A
Please fill out this form (download, enable editing; if enable editing isn’t allowed, just select all, copy and
paste into a new doc) and upload it to the appropriate dropbox by Monday March 30th, 6:00 pm. The
dropbox will not close.
1. Your topic:
2. What makes it controversial or otherwise worth investigating?
3. Explain the motivation for your research. For example, are you interested in helping people
better understand it; are you hoping to find information that can shed light on its importance;
do you want to offer a judgement about the quality of your topic or challenge an accepted
judgement or attitude about it; do you want to discover what the causes or effects are; are
you interested in proposing solutions; do you want to offer a new perspective or
understanding of it.
4. After answering the question above, you should have an idea about the genre of argument
you want to write: fact-based, definition, evaluation, cause & effect, proposal to solve a
problem. See EAA Chps 8-12 for explanations of each genre. Explain your choice of genre here.
5. Think about your audience. Briefly describe them here. Consider qualities like age, education
level, attitude towards your topic, beliefs they may hold that will have an effect on your
6. Now, write a brief paragraph about how you can establish credibility with that audience.
What will they need from you to take you seriously?
7. Think about potential research terms related to your topic. Make a list of them here.
8. It’s too early for a thesis (your research should help you finalize your thesis), but briefly
explain what your primary question is that you hope your research will answer. Or, if you
would rather think of your subject in terms of a problem or controversy, briefly explain your
ideas about that problem and what you hope to clarify via your research.
9. List any questions or concerns you have that I can help you with at this stage.
Prof. McClure Wade
Assignment 2: Annotated Bibliography
(a.k.a. Works Cited Entries on Steroids)
A bibliography is a list of sources (journal, magazine & newspaper articles, books, various
websites, interviews, etc.) a writer uses for researching a topic. Each bibliographic entry
contains the same publication information that a writer would use when compiling a list of
Works Cited. Because this is an English 1020 assignment, MLA guidelines must be used. To craft
entries, carefully follow the examples from EAA at MTSU; being careful at this stage of the
annotated bibliography ensures a fine Works Cited page once you submit The Position Paper.
An annotation is a summary of the source AND an evaluation of its usefulness. Recalling what
you learned about summarizing for Essay 1(Summary & Response) should benefit you here.
When you evaluate a source, you assess its usefulness concerning your own essay topic. Certain
chapters from EAA at MTSU provide useful pointers for determining a source’s effectiveness.
Thus, an annotated bibliography is similar to a Works Cited in that it contains bibliographic
entries, but different in that it also has summaries and evaluations of all sources.
Writing an annotated bibliography helps you learn about your topic as it prepares you to write
The Research Paper. Simply collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to
write annotations for each source, you are forced to read more carefully.
Every ideal research paper is an argument, and every sound argument stems from an effective
thesis statement. To that end, compiling an annotated bibliography helps you formulate a thesis
statement, one that is debatable, interesting, and current. When you read and respond to a
variety of sources concerning your essay topic, you have a better idea of what the main issues
are and what others are arguing about.
Sometimes, extensive and scholarly annotated bibliographies are published, so writing one of
your own could help other researchers, as it provides a comprehensive overview of numerous
sources that have been published about the topic. At the 1020 level, it is doubtful that your
annotated bibliography will be published, but as a researcher, you may want to consult other
writers’ annotated bibliographies that have been published about your topic.
Two Main Components for Annotations:
Summary--The first part of your annotation is the longest part, as it will summarize the source.
What is the point of the source? What topics are covered? If someone asked what the source is
about, how would you answer? Your summaries must be at least five sentences in length. No
exceptions. If you cannot generate this many, you MUST find another source.
Evaluation--After summarizing the source, you will evaluate its usefulness for your own
argument. How does it compare with other sources in your annotated bibliography? Is the
information reliable? Is the source biased or objective? Will it enhance your position? At the
very least, your evaluation statement must be two sentences in length.
Formatting the Citations:
1. See EAA chp. 22, pages 501-515 for examples of entries for every kind of source you
may use. Page 515 has a sample Works Cited list so that you can see what the entries
2. Hanging indents are required for all lines after the first for each entry. The first line of
the citation starts at the left margin, so be sure to use one inch margins, as is the
standard for all formal 1020 assignments.
3. Double-spacing is required throughout. Do not add an extra line between the citations
and the entries.
4. The standard MLA heading is required for the first page, as is a centered title. Last name
and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner are also required.
I expect your annotated bibliography to be formatted the exact same way as the examples in
the text book and in the example I have provided (See the Assignment 2 files on D2L). If you
study the examples and follow the directions, you should not only be pleased with your
annotated bibliography grade, but you should also be well-prepared to compose The Research
Paper. However, if you fail to follow the examples/instructions, you might not be pleased with
your annotated bibliography grade; more than likely, your Research Paper grade will suffer as
You will use EIGHT sources to compile your annotated bibliography (citing, summarizing, and
evaluating all eight sources). Sources will be arranged alphabetically, by the author’s last name.
If your source has no author then the entry should begin with the title of the article.
You are required to find
• two journal articles,
• two newspaper or magazine articles,
• one credible website,
• The remaining three sources are up to you; these can include but are not limited to
additional articles, personal & email interviews, lectures, government publications,
and documentary films.
• I will not waiver on this requirement, so choose topics accordingly.
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