Annotated Bibliography Assignment and research paper

 
Your assignment is to write an Annotated Bibliography containing information on 6 or 
more sources (which you will use for your upcoming research essay: Essay 3). You may write 
about 
any current issue or enduring question that you are passionate or curious about. 
You 
may write about one of the two topics we have addressed in previous assignments (gender 
identity; the cultural phenomena of vampires and zombies). However, your bibliography and 
essay must be expanded to comply with the required parameters of this assignment.
Please see the Oral Presentation assignment prompt for a list of possible topics.
You must use at least six scholarly sources for your Annotated Bibliography. One or 
more of these sources must fall into each of the following categories:

one 
book
(such as our 
Brief Bedford Reader
); 

one 
periodical (magazine, journal or newspaper) article;

one 
website
(do not use Wikipedia: it is not an acceptable scholarly source);

one 
“multimedia” source (a source using visual and/or audio elements to 
support a thesis or theme, such as a film, video, DVD, photograph, etc.).
Please use Section 52d-52f (“Construct an Annotated Bibliography”) of your 
Rules for Writers
textbook as a guide when creating your Annotated Bibliography. In the Eighth Edition of the 
book, this section is on pages 427-430.
You should begin your Annotated Bibliography like an MLA-formatted essay, with your name, 
your instructor’s name, the name of our class, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of your 
first page. Then, your chosen research topic (such as Technology or Capital Punishment) should 
be centered on the page after the identifying information. Then, you will list your 6 or more 
sources in alphabetical order. Please use the sample annotated bibliography entry (on page 3 of 
this handout) as an example. You should also use the chapter entitled “Writing Papers in MLA 
Style” in your 
Rules for Writers 
book as a guide when creating your Annotated Bibliography.

 
nglish 101 Essay 3: Research Essay Assignment
I.   INTRODUCTION
Your third written assignment for this class is a
7-10 page research essay consisting of
2,000 or more words.
A research essay has a
persuasive, analytical
, and/or
expository
purpose –
and uses documented source material to support your thesis.  
A research essay is also an essay that presents and develops a thesis supporting multiple
sources of opinion. You stake out a subject narrow enough to be researched and you steep
yourself in it. Then you formulate a thesis — your own attitude or opinion on the subject — and
present it in a persuasive or expository form, along with facts, opinions, and information that
prove it true.  
II.  THE PARTS OF A RESEARCH ESSAY
There are 2 parts to an MLA-formatted Research Essay:
1.
The Text (7-10 pages)
2.
The Works Cited Page (1 or more pages)
III. TOPIC
You may write about
any current issue or enduring question that you are passionate or
curious about.
You may write about one of the two topics we have addressed in previous
assignments (gender identity; the cultural phenomena of vampires and zombies). However, your
essay must be expanded to comply with the required parameters of this assignment.
Below are four sample research essay topics that you may choose from:
Sample Topic #1: The Literature of Discrimination
Write an essay in which you answer the following question:
How do the narrators of the
narrative essays “Champion of the World” and “Fish Cheeks” react to being racial
minorities and women in a Eurocentric society? How are the circumstances of young Amy
Tan similar to and different than the circumstances of young Maya Angelou?
Sample Topic #2: Capital Punishment
Write an essay in which you answer the following question:
Is the death penalty an
appropriate punishment for violent criminals in the United States, or should it be abolished
nationwide?
Write an essay expressing your own opinion on the death penalty, in which you
attempt to convince the reader to take some action (either agree with your point-of-view,
actively protest against the death penalty, or take some other action).

Lambert 2
Sample Topic #3: Machiavellian Politics
Write an essay in which you answer the following question:
Based on Niccolo Machiavelli’s
arguments in his book The Prince, does former President Richard M. Nixon (as portrayed in
director Oliver Stone’s film Nixon) represent a Machiavellian “Prince”?
Why or why not?
What other political leaders exemplify Machiavelli’s notion that “The ends justify the
means?” What positive and/or negative effects does this thinking have on a nation’s
citizens?
Sample Topic #4: Technology and the Future
Many arguments have been made regarding the subject of new technology. Some people
welcome new technological advances. Many “dystopian” novels and films (such as
Fahrenheit 451
and
The Matrix
) warn against new technology, and even suggest that self-
aware machines will someday enslave the human race. Is this possible? Even if machines do
not destroy humans, are they dangerous in other ways? For example, the animated film
Wal-E
depicts a future society in which humanity is so dependent on technology that we are
nearly helpless.
Write an essay in which you answer the following question:
“Is new technology harmful or
beneficial to human beings, or a combination of both? Will technology help or hinder
humanity’s efforts to create a better society in the future?”
Additional Topics
You may also choose to write about one of the following current issues or enduring questions:

Abortion

Affirmative Action

Animal Rights / Animal Liberation

Civil Rights:  How far have we come in America?

Immigration policy

Privacy:  How much are citizens entitled to?

Racism:  How do we fight it?

Religion and Morality

Separation of Church and State

Terrorism:  How do we fight it?

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy:  Conspiracy or Lone Gunman?

Women’s Liberation / Overcoming the “Glass Ceiling”
IV. SOURCES
You must use at least six scholarly sources to support your essay’s thesis. One or more of
these sources must fall into each of the following categories:

Lambert 3

one
book
(such as our
Brief Bedford Reader
);

one
periodical (magazine, journal or newspaper) article;

one
website
(do not use Wikipedia: it is not an acceptable scholarly source);

one
“multimedia” source (a source using visual and/or audio elements to
support a thesis or theme, such as a film, video, DVD, photograph, etc.).
V.  CITING SOURCES CORRECTLY AND ETHICALLY
Much of the writing in your research essay comes from the work of other writers, and
you must give proper credit by citing (mentioning) these sources in your paper. The art of citing
is called documentation, which is required for any information falling into the following 3
categories:
1.
Any judgment, opinion, speculation or theory that is not original (unless it is universally
known and accepted).
2.
Any fact or statistic open to dispute.
3.
Any information provided by a specific observer, even by an expert in his or her field (for
example, opinions of psychologists on child abuse).
VI. USING QUOTATIONS
You will use quotations to include information from your sources in your essay. For
example, if you were quoting from “Hail Mary” (a
Newsweek
magazine article on the Virgin
Mary by Kenneth L. Woodward), you could write:
Kenneth L. Woodward, in his article on the Virgin Mary, writes that “the 20th century
has belonged to Mary” (49).
Or…..
According to Kenneth L. Woodward, the 20th century has “belonged to Mary” (49).
Or…..
Kenneth L. Woodward writes:  “The 20th century has belonged to Mary” (49).
You will use the MLA (Modern Languages Association) style for parenthetical
documentation to list your sources on your Works Cited page, which is the last page of your
essay.
You will list these sources on your Works Cited page. They should be listed in
alphabetical order, by the author’s last name.
Your source listings for books
should look like
this: Author’s last name, author’s first name, title of book, name of publisher, year of publication.
For example, if we were listing Barbara Kingsolver’s novel,
The Bean Trees
:
Kingsolver, Barbara.
The Bean Trees
. HarperCollins, 1988.
(The publisher and year of publication can usually be found at the beginning of a book,
before the title page.)

Lambert 4
Your source listings for periodical articles
should look like this: Author’s last name,
author’s first name, title of article, name of magazine or newspaper, date of article, article’s page
numbers.
For example, if we were listing Kenneth L. Woodward’s
Newsweek
article, “Hail, Mary”:
Woodward, Kenneth L. “Hail, Mary.”
Newsweek
. August 25, 1997: pp. 49-55.
VII.
YOUR TURN
Writing research essays is not as complicated as it sounds. Keep this sheet handy, think
carefully about the subject you write about, and see me if you have any questions. Relax and
have fun with this assignment. I look forward to reading your essay

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