Individual Annotated Bibliography

Project III - Research Project
Individual annotated bibliography (3 pages) and group research presentation
In Project III, students form groups of 4 based on interest in a similar topic. EN 101 classes focus on a large topic in the D.C. metro area. Groups will choose to investigate a more narrow topic within the larger course focus. In this class, which focuses on the problems of living space in the D.C. metro area, students could investigate problems such as: traffic, homelessness, housing prices, gentrification, public transportation, development, public parks
Individual annotated bibliography – 15%
Each student will compile a bibliography of at least 5 sources. These sources should be chosen for how they help the student understand the chosen topic and the problems associated with the topic. For example, if a student chose housing prices, s/he might have an annotated bibliography that includes real estate flyers, Washington Post articles on local real estate, a NY Times op-ed on financial incentives for risky mortgages, Newsweek articles on the nationwide housing bubble, the Prince of Petworth neighborhood message board, and an interview with a recent area homebuyer. These annotated bibliographies will include a summary of each source and an explanation of how each source helps the student understand the topic and its associated problems in all their complexity. There will be two library sessions in support of this project. The first will focus on finding and evaluating internet sources and the second on using the general library databases to find articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines.

Outcomes for Research Project
• Develop a pre-research and research strategy that focuses the scope of a research project
• Become familiar with library databases
• Effectively gather internet research, identifying the author and publisher of online material and evaluating the hosting site of that material as well as the material itself
• Collect, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize information from a variety of valid and relevant sources, which can include field research
• Adequately paraphrase and quote source material while documenting all research accurately using MLA citation style

Grading Criteria
Sources
Annotates 5-7 source all on the same narrowed topic
Each source is “meaty” in length and perspectives (such as a feature article) or in breadth of research (such as a government report) or depth of research (such as an academic article)
At least five sources will be secondary rather than primary sources
All of the secondary sources will meet the evaluative criteria discussed in class (published by a disinterested, relatively unbiased publisher, vetted in some way, recent)
Annotations
Each source is summarized in a couple of good-sized paragraphs. The thesis and all of the main points are included. See grading criteria for summaries for a reminder of what to include.
Each source has a citation in MLA format.
Each source contains a paragraph in which the student articulates how the source helps them understand their narrowed topic in all its complexity

Examples:
Oberhaus, Dorothy Huff. “Emily Dickinson’s Fascicles: Method and Meaning.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 5. 2 (1996): 149-154.
In this article, a companion to her recent book-length study, Oberhaus attempts to explain the meaning behind Dickinson’s un-chronological and apparently un-thematic ordering of poems in the fascicles. By reading backwards, Oberhaus hypothesizes that the fascicles record Dickinson’s “poetic and spiritual pilgrimage” toward peace with God (151). Oberhaus’s article illustrates the radical difference in meaning that can result from reading a Dickinson poem in the context of surrounding poems. She argues that “we can, therefore, no longer read individual fascicles poems in the new critical way, each as a self-sufficient text complete in itself (154).
Whatever the merit of her own hypothesis concerning ordering, her article is important in showing the difference context can make to a reading and is especially relevant to a study of Dickinson since edited versions of Dickinson’s work still order her poems chronologically or thematically, ignoring the order in which she, herself, placed the poems.

Sands, Marget. “Re-reading the Poems: Editing Opportunities in Variant Versions.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 5.29 (1996): 139-147.
Sand’s article advocates reading the different versions of Emily Dickinson’s poetry in the context in which Dickinson published them. Sand shows how the “same” poems Dickinson published in letters to her sister-in-law Susan and in letters to her literary mentor Higginson differ not only in word choice but in punctuation, capitalization, and handwriting. Sand illustrates the important readings that can result from reading these versions of the poems as different poems and from studying the possible meanings behind the alterations. She, along with many contemporary Dickinson scholars, also contends that much is lost in “trap[ping]” Dickinson in print, and advocates a return to manuscript versions of her work.
Sands article is convincing in showing how the variants in Dickinson’s poetry are related to the audience of the poem (Susan or Higginson) and how studying these variants can impact the reading of the individual poem as well an understanding of Dickinson’s work as a whole.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License