I’m studying for my Writing class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?
Review WP3: Annotated Bibliography and WP4: Research Paper Description
Throughout the first half of the class, you’ve learned to summarize, analyze, and synthesize. You’ve learned how to use the library to find sources and learned how to integrate them. Now, we’ll turn to the content of the second half of the class in which you will pick your own topic of inquiry (related to the class topic in some way), research that topic fully (WP3 is an annotated bibliography that reflects that research) and then write a large research paper about your topic (WP4). Also, please know that for all intents and purposes, these two writing projects will be the primary focus in the final weeks of the class. Thus, when you read them now, don’t panic about the work load.
This week you’ll be taking your topic/question to the library to start reading and collecting sources. WP 3 and 4 aren’t due this week, but I want you to have the actual assignments when you start envisioning particular topics.
WP3: Thesis and Annotated Bibliography
The point of Writing Project 3 is to locate and begin synthesizing at least 8 relevant sources that you plan to use in your final research paper, as well as articulate your working thesis for the larger research paper. The topic you will explore should have some relation to the issues we’ve been exposed to this term–but it is important that you pick a topic that is of interest to you. Remember that this paper is not about Covid-19, as much as about an issue that came up out of our earlier explorations. (See the discussion about this in the research question discussion board).
WP3 should begin with your research questions and thesis statement that you are thinking of using for WP4. Literally, you can type “Research Question(s): xxxx. Working Thesis: XXXXX” at the top of your essay.
Then, complete an annotated bibliography of at least eight relevant primary and secondary sources. Sources like Wikipedia, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and news overviews are not acceptable. The majority of your sources should come from scholarly (not popular) publications. Try to include research that takes a variety of opinions and perspectives about your topic into account. Using sources located through Cardinal Stritch’s databases is most preferred.
Provide an APA-style citation (for each source (remember to remain consistent throughout the bibliography). Under each citation, provide a 125-175 word annotation that:
- Briefly summarizes the source (book, chapter, article, interview, etc.)
- Identifies the piece’s argument (or main point)
- Relies primarily on your own words and phrasing (use summary and paraphrase and limit yourself to one direct quote per annotation)
- Discusses the source’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, does the item offer a good introduction to the issue? Does the item deal with a particular aspect of the issue that is especially relevant to the problem you plan to address in your proposal? Do you find the piece accessible or is it geared to a more specialized audience? Etc.
- Describes how the piece will contribute to your project.
Don’t forget to alphabetize your entries, like you would on a References page, and use a hanging indent for the citations.
More instruction for how to write annotations will be coming.
Note: you will get some feedback on how to write annotations and on your thesis statement as you are drafting, but you will not have a chance to revise this assignment after you submit it.
WP4: Research Essay
The research essay is the culmination of English 102. In writing an effective research essay, you have an opportunity to implement the critical analysis tools we have discussed and put into practice throughout the semester—particularly the abilities to summarize, analyze, and synthesize arguments in an existing discourse. In addition, this project affords you the opportunity to make a contribution to a larger conversation, bringing to light paths and avenues that may have been previously overlooked. In this manner, this essay provides an occasion to develop the effective research skills and critical thinking skills that will serve you throughout college and beyond.
Having completed your annotated bibliography and thesis statement, you must articulate and explicate your ideas in a 10 to 12 page research essay. You must present an original and well-crafted argument that explores a topic related to one of the issues we’ve been exposed to in this course. Although your argument is the focus of your essay, you will enter into a meaningful exchange with the sources you have found throughout the semester. In other words, you will summarize these sources, analyze the efficacy of their arguments, and synthesize the work of others in the course of making your claims. Thus, in order to prove that you are a legitimate participant in this conversation, you must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the topic and present a critical and unique way of thinking through it.
You should thus write an informative, persuasive paper that are grounded in a specific, relevant research question derived from your topic of inquiry. The paper should have a clear thesis/controlling purpose that grows out of your primary and/or secondary research. You should provide ample research-based evidence to support all points in the essay and should make sure that your arguments are free of logical fallacies. You should integrate all source material to the paper with care, using summaries, paraphrases and direct quotations that are seamlessly integrated to the text and correctly cited using APA format, including a References page. You should organize the research paper in a logical manner that makes reading easy and should make use of basic structural conventions such as a thesis statement, transitions and topic sentences. You should carefully edit your paper to eliminate all mechanical and grammatical problems and improve sentence-level clarity in the writing.
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