Final assignment: Project 4a-b
The remaining project assignments (4a, & 4b) are parts of a single overall assignment:
Project 4a: Annotated Bibliography and Proposal (3-5 pages) 15% due T 3/27(Ann Bib) & T 4/03 (Proposal)
Project 4b: Researched Analysis (8-9 pages) 25% due R 4/12 & M 4/23
The assignments for each section of the project can be found below.
Project 4a: Annotated Bibliography and Project Proposal (3-5 pages)
The annotated bibliography (due March 27) will be the first product of your individual research for the final paper. An annotated bibliography is a works cited list that includes a paragraph-long annotation (usually 100–200 words in length) that summarizes and analyzes and, sometimes, evaluates each source. (You will be evaluating your sources for this assignment.)
Below are 2 websites you can use as resources when constructing your annotated bibliography:
Remember that the purpose of this assignment is to aid you in your research paper. In producing your annotated bibliography you will be doing a lot of the research work for the paper. Reading, summarizing, and evaluating sources will help you determine the focus of your essay and will help you determine which will be fruitful to use in your essay, which won’t.
The annotated bibliography must include 5 sources, none of which were read for class. One might be the source your group presented on in class, or it might be a source another group presented on in class. Three of these “sources” must be peer-reviewed, scholarly sources. All sources should be found through our library databases, not simply from an internet google search. (Google Scholar, which we learned about in the library workshop, is a valid tool for discovering such sources.) You may use online materials, but they must be academic quality (more on this in class).
A second product of your research process will be a project proposal (due April 3): a 1-page description of your topic that indicates your particular approach to (or “take on”) the topic and provides an initial attempt at the thesis statement for your paper, explaining your reasons for choosing this topic and this approach. The proposal will not be the paper but will describe the paper you anticipate writing as the culmination of the research process.
The proposal will be 275-300 words long, and it will have a formal header and a title for the paper. (The title is crucial.) This proposal should lay out very clearly:
a. your subject, which you should introduce specifically (not, for example, a broad subject such as “health care reform” but a much more specific statement of it, such as “the individual payer mandate of the Patient Protection and Medical Reform Act of 2010″)
b. the method and structure you expect to use in your paper:
1. method might involve taking a historical approach, for instance, or one that relies on results of current social science experiments or on the arguments of various experts in the field;
2. structure might, for instance,begin with personal anecdote, then turn to statistical evidence from your research, and conclude with observations from someone closely involved in the subject’
3. be sure to note different sources from your annotated bibliography that you anticipate using in your paper.
For an extra credit blog post, simply post to the course blog your project proposal. Do this by Tuesday (April 3) at 3:45, after you’ve submitted your proposal in OAKS by 3:30.
Here is a sample we are discussing in class on March 29.
Your annotated bibliography will be submitted in OAKS on Tuesday, March 27. The Proposal will be due Tuesday, April 3 in OAKS.
Project 4b: Researched Analysis (8-9 pages)
Due: draft April 12; revision April 23
Length: 8-9 pages total, including works cited page(s).
Sources: 6 sources (which don’t need to have been on your annotated bibliography, but could have been)
Note: Your essay itself will need to be 6-7 pages. The rest will be the works cited page(s).
Special note: Works cited page(s) does not equal annotated bibliography, but instead is the kind of works cited page you’ve produced for your other essays this semester, including no annotation and including entries for only those sources you wound up citing in the essay.
The description of the course that I offered on the syllabus noted that we would spend the semester paying close attention to how language and education are arenas where culture is produced. This we have done, and will continue to do, through engaging with essays and images from Acting Out Culture and watching a film and programs addressing “How We Believe,” “How We Watch,” and “How We Learn.” One of these issues will guide your researched analysis.
This final formal essay for our class integrates the research and citation component required of all English 110 students. This means you will be responsible for finding your own scholarly research (a.k.a. “outside sources”), integrating them successfully into your essay, and documenting this research appropriately according to MLA rules and citation guidelines. In addition, you are responsible for writing a strong paper that makes a successful and original argument.
First Step: You need an idea for an argument you would like to make. This idea should come from one of our class readings. You may use any of the readings from our semester as a starting place (and potentially a source) for the paper you develop. Remember, you want an original topic, something fresh and interesting that you won’t mind researching and writing about. You might consider using Johnson or Dyson to develop an argument focusing on some aspect of public discourse and debate. You might also consider the status of American public education by using Kozol or Kohn. There are many possibilities.
Second step: Once you’ve decided on a broad topic you will need to narrow your focus to something more specific. For example:
Broad topic: Religion and public debate (using Johnson)
More specific: The role of atheism or agnosticism in making political decisions
Even more specific: Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and the state’s irreligious populace
Thesis: (which must incorporate a persuasive claim)
In 1997, Oregon passed the nation’s first law allowing for physician-assisted suicide. In the aftermath, many feared that such so-called “death with dignity” laws would be enacted throughout the U.S. Those who supported such a development seem to have recognized what has in fact turned out to be the case: Oregon’s unusually irreligious populace supported this legal option in ways that more religious states such as Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and even Massachusetts, simply wouldn’t.
Third step: Narrowing your topic is possible only through research, which is also necessary for you to build your paper once you’ve found your research angle (or thesis). You will need at least 5 sources, which means four outside sources in addition to your “springboard” source (the one we read for class). These sources don’t need to have been the ones included on your annotated bibliography.
Appropriate research integration is often a difficult task. We’ve been practicing this throughout the semester, with the use of quotes that are sufficiently introduced and explained, both in terms of your particular purpose in the essay at the point when you present the quote. Remember that the paper is, most importantly, your analysis. You are simply using research to further your argument (or at times, offer a counter perspective to your argument).
Remember the concern with dinner parties in Miller’s essay early in the semester? Assembling and integrating research can also be thought of in terms of hosting a dinner party: You want to invite interesting guests who will contribute something meaningful to the overall discussion. But you don’t want guests (or sources) who all say the same thing. They should be complementary, not redundant. Also, you don’t want one overly opinionated guest to dominate the discussion. As host (a.k.a. writer), you step in and steer the dinner conversation of your research paper. The paper is a record of your conversation with your sources, so imagine that your sources are “in conversation” with one another as you develop a larger argument and discussion.
Finally: You will be responsible for the proper in-text citation of your sources as well as a Works Cited page. The final step is less creative than the others, and your grade for this segment will be very straightforward—did you, or did you not document the sources correctly according to MLA guidelines?
Evaluation: I will be evaluating your research essay based on the rubric below. You should tailor your paper to meet the following requirements:
Focused topic and thesis
Effectiveness of argument (evidence, explanation)
Balance of Sources
Works Cited Page