Assignment 1: Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

Assignment 1: Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

225 Points

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Assignment Overview

Often as a student and as a professional, you will be required to “get up to speed” on a topic or issue so that you know the common understandings about the topic, including identifying key voices in the conversation, and what questions remain. This initial gathering of information is the beginning of a research process.


For this assignment you will “get up to speed” by first defining an initial question about your topic or issue and then compiling a set of relevant, credible sources which address some aspect of the question. After reviewing your sources, you will provide annotations, or formal notes, for each source. Specifically, for each source you will document the publication information and provide an evaluative annotation that summarizes the source and comments on the source. You will also include a brief end commentary that summarizes the issue as a whole given the points of view represented in your annotations, and identifies questions for further research which will lead to a literature review (assignment 2).


The Rhetorical Situation

Genre: Annotated Bibliography.

Organizationally, annotated bibliographies are arranged by bibliographical or publication information for each source. The formatting of the publication information will depend upon the particular style guide chosen. For this assignment you should use the MLA system. The final set of entries should be alphabetized by author’s last name. The end commentary will be written in paragraph form at the end of the document.


Within each annotation, begin with a brief summary or description of the source’s key contributions to the overall conversation. For evaluative annotative bibliographies like this one, you will also include a brief analysis to help you [and any readers of your annotation] understand the quality and perspective of each source and its contribution to the larger “conversation” and your specific question. Your annotations, then, will include both what the authors you choose are saying and an informed analysis of your own. Your end commentary on the annotations as a set should present a reasonable and fair overview of the conversation about your question and identify more focused or specific questions for further research.


Audience & Purpose: Your audience for this first assignment includes you and your instructor.  Your goal for yourself is to understand your topic, including its persistent questions and debates, its key voices, and its potential relevancy for others to enable you to do further research. Your annotated bibliography should not only enhance your knowledge about the topic and question, but also your instructor’s.


Task: Determine a specific research question relevant to the course topic, drawing from the common readings and class discussion. Once you have your question, select five articles from credible, library-quality sources, one of which can be from our common readings. These will be your texts to summarize accurately and analyze carefully, revealing the larger conversation about your question.


To complete the task, you must read and understand the sources’ main arguments and consider what motivates the author(s) of each source, as well as how each source fits into the larger body of information, stances, and questions.


Since the bibliography is structured to summarize and comment on each source individually, your brief end commentary (2-3 paragraphs) will need to give your readers the “bottom line” takeaways from considering all the sources together. This final section of your work should be a conclusive evaluation of all the sources you cite and a comprehensive analysis of what your selected authors are engaging with critically.


Grading Criteria Possible Points
Selection of sources is based on a specific research question (not general topic) related to the course topic 25
Sources are credible, relevant to the question, and represent different perspectives on the question 35
Sources are summarized fairly and accurately, highlighting aspects of each source that relate directly to the question 35
Evaluative commentary in annotations help readers understand the quality and perspective of the source, and its contribution to the larger “conversation”/question 35
End commentary on the bibliography presents a reasonable and fair overview of the sources’ contribution to understanding the question, and identifies more focused or specific questions or issues for further research 35
Demonstrates careful attention to language through correct spelling and grammar and appropriate usage and style 30
Follows appropriate formatting and citation practices for the annotated bibliography genre 30
Total 225


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