This assignment is designed to help you organize your research as you prepare for the Debate Paper. As you are researching your controversy, you will likely find some articles and sources that are mainly informative and others that make an argument and advocate for a particular position. While your Research Analysis should focus on an article that makes an argument, you are welcome to include sources that are primarily informative in your annotated bibliography, as both informative and argumentative sources will ultimately help you write the Debate Paper. Also, our understanding of “sources” here can be quite broad. Our main emphasis will be on articles, but you can also examine other kinds of texts – anything that can help you gain insight about your controversy (books, documentaries, pamphlets, websites, etc.).
Overview and Formatting: There is not a specific page length requirement for this assignment, but your bibliography should include at least four sources (and at least three sources that make an argument). Each entry should begin with a citation of the source in APA format. After the citation, skip a line before including your annotations. For more information about annotated bibliographies, see the Purdue OWL. You should email the assignment to me as an attachment and bring a hard copy or an electronic copy to class.
Specifics: Your annotations should be 1-2 paragraphs, and they should focus on concisely summarizing the main point(s) of the source and reflecting on its use for your understanding of the controversy. If the source is argumentative, you should briefly outline the main argument of the article. If the source is informative, you should outline the main information provided by the article. In addition to this overview of the source’s main point(s), you can also use the annotations as a place to note other helpful information from the article. The goal of the annotated bibliography is to help you prepare for the paper and to demonstrate that your understanding of your controversy is broad and thorough.
Your research can draw on different types of sources: popular, academic, or professional. The most helpful databases for scholarly sources will be JStor and Academic Search Complete (available through the library) and then Google Scholar. Note that JStor can help you locate specific journals relevant to specific fields. Some fields and professions have publications (journals, newsletters, blogs, etc.) that address news and issues relevant to members of the profession. For example, The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) isn’t an academic journal, but it is a publication with relevant news and commentary for academics. Try to locate relevant professional organizations and their publications through your research.
Sources aimed at a more general audience (newspapers and magazines) can be found through LexisNexis and then from specific publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, The Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Magazine, Media Diversified, The New Inquiry, Valid, Vox, and Medium. To find other relevant publications, do searches like “publications about [your topic]” or “magazines about [your community],” or add search terms like “newspaper opinion” or “magazine opinion.
Keep in mind that incorporating research into your papers and presentations will involve correctly citing your sources. For help with citations, you can consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab and NoodleBib (see “NoodleTools Citation Tool”). If you are interested in using a web-based tool for keeping track of sources and links and for helping with bibliographies, check out Zotero.
Here are some other tools that can help with research:
- Pinboard and Delicious. These bookmarking sites allow you to save and tag online articles and websites.
- Hypothesis. This tool allows you to highlight and annotate online articles and websites.
- Skim. This tool allows you to annotate .pdfs (Mac only).
- Evernote. This software helps you organize research notes, class notes, or anything else along these lines.