Research Topic Proposal & Annotated Bibliography Essay Assignment
Topic Proposal & Annotated Bibliography (p. 253-255, 190-206, Norton Field Guide)
to say clearly and succinctly what you want to research and how you’ll do so.
Student Learning Objectives:
Synthesize ideas from a variety of sources. (A, D)
Integrate inquiry-based research into writing processes. (A, C, D)
Produce analytic texts that effectively address different rhetorical situations. (C, D)
Write a 1000 word (minimum) proposal that outlines your plans for your research paper, and provides an annotated bibliography (500 word minimum).
Your proposal should cover the following:
A discussion of the topic-what it is, why it matters, background info, issues or controversy
An indication of your specific focus-research question and a tentative thesis
An explanation of why you are interested in the topic-what you already know, why it interests you, what you intend to find out through research
A research plan-how you plan to investigate, what types of sources you’ll need, what methods you’ll use
An annotated bibliography-a list of sources with a discussion of each source-see info below
Use at least three credible sources, two from the Daytona State Database (look for sources that do not contain obvious bias and are professional and not personal or commercial).
Follow MLA/APA conventions for formatting your paper (double space, paragraph form, proper headings, etc.).
You may use 1st or 3rd person perspective.
Originality report must be 20% or less.
Do not choose a common topic (Abortion, Animal Testing/Abuse, Athletes’ Salaries, Birth Control, Childhood Obesity, Death Penalty, Dress Code, Drinking Age, Drug Legalization, Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide, Gay Marriage, Global Warming, Gun Control, Illegal Immigration, Sex Education).
An annotated bibliography is a list of cited sources about a particular topic, in which each citation is followed by a brief annotation, or discussion of the source. The annotation usually consists of just one paragraph, but your instructor may require more. An annotated bibliography is useful for documenting your research in a specific area, exploring varying viewpoints, and summarizing main points from different sources. Format requirements of an annotated bibliography vary greatly from one documentation style to another; please refer to a style manual for specific format requirements (ex: MLA, APA, CBE, Chicago, etc.). There are two parts to every entry in an annotated bibliography: the citation and the annotation.
The citation includes the bibliographic information of the source. The documentation style required for this information depends upon your particular academic field and will usually be assigned by your professor (some common styles include MLA, APA, CBE, and Chicago). Follow the instructions for the assignment, and the guidelines in the appropriate documentation handbook. Citations are organized alphabetically.
The annotation is a brief paragraph following the citation.
The annotation of a source can serve several different purposes; your professor requires your annotations to do the following:
Condense the content of the source (write a brief summary of the information)
Evaluate the source (analyze for authority, accuracy, currency, objectivity)
Discuss the writer’s background (examine expertise or layman knowledge)
Assess the usefulness or relevant application of the source
Describe how you will use this source (perspective? value of source? Offers new info?)
The length of an annotation depends upon the assignment. Shorter annotations will most likely cover only main points and themes; longer annotations may require a more in-depth description, discussion, or evaluation of the source. Format for annotated bibliographies depends upon their intended use.
Sample Annotated Bibliography (MLA)
Gilbert, Pam. “From Voice to Text: Reconsidering Writing and Reading in the English Classroom.” Vol. 23, no. 4, 1991, pp. 195–211., www.jstor.org/stable/40172765. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
Gilbert provides some insight into the concept of “voice” in textual interpretation, and points to a need to move away from the search for voice in reading. Her reasons stem from a growing danger of “social and critical illiteracy,” which might be better dealt with through a move toward different textual understandings. Gilbert suggests that theories of language as a social practice can be more useful in teaching. Her ideas seem to disagree with those who believe in a dominant voice in writing, but she presents an interesting perspective. Gilbert is a practicing classroom teacher with 30 years of experience, and is a published author of many articles on the subject. This source is an invaluable reference for background information.
Greene, Stuart. “Mining Texts in Reading to Write.” Vol. 12, no. 1, 1992, pp. 151–170, www.jstor.org/stable/20865834. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
This article works from the assumption that reading and writing inform each other, particularly in the matter of rhetorical constructs. Greene introduces the concept of “mining texts” for rhetorical situations when reading with a sense of authorship. Considerations for what can be mined include language, structure, and context, all of which can be useful depending upon the writer’s goals. Greene is considered to be the founder of a school of thought called “Write to Learn” and is a professor and researcher at Harvard University. The article provides some practical methods that compliment Pam Gilbert’s ideas about reading as invention.
Murray, Donald M. Read to Write: a Writing Process Reader. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1990.
Murray’s book deals more specifically with the ways writers read other writers, particularly the ways in which writers read themselves. Read to Write provides a view of drafting and revising, focusing on the way a piece of writing evolves as an author takes the time to read and criticize his or her own work. Moreover, the book spotlights some excellent examples of professional writing and displays each writer’s own comments on their own creations, in effect allowing the student reader to learn (by reading) the art of rereading and rewriting as exemplified by famous authors. These examples will be useful as anecdotal evidence for the research paper. Donald Murray completed groundbreaking research studies and multiple books on the writing process and methodology, some of which continue to be primary sources on the subject today.
Newell, George E. “The Effects of Written Between-Draft Responses on Students’ Writing and Reasoning about Literature.” Written Communication, vol. 11, no. 3, 1994, pp. 311–347, doi:10.1177/0741088394011003002.
This study reflects the advantage of teacher responses on student papers. When reflected upon as “dialogue” questions to the student, these comments can lead to further interpretation and deeper understanding of a text. Newell found that responses which prompted students to work from their initial drafts brought about more final papers than teacher responses that led them away from their initial drafts with “directive” remarks. Newell is the president of The Writer’s Consortium, an organization that promotes research and development of writing strategies for the classroom. He is Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who has conducted scores of workshops for emerging writers. For more information on Research Topic Proposal and Annotated Bibliography visit this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annotated_bibliography
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