Evaluative Bibliography Of Research

Evaluative Annotated Bibliography – 20%

Assignment:
Produce an evaluative annotated bibliography that collects, summarizes, and explains the best secondary sources available on your narrowed topic (there will also be an in-class research presentation, five minutes in length, worth 5% of your final grade). Many of the sources collected will be scholarly. The annotated bibliography will 1) summarize the source 2) explain its rhetorical context (the journal and its audience, the purpose of the article, the conversation/debate it references, its genre conventions, and its disciplinary assumptions and values) and 3) articulate the ways the source helps you understand your research topic in all of its complexity.

Requirements:
The bibliography should contain 3 or more sources, each with a correct citation, a paragraph telling the reader the main argument and main points of the article, a description of the rhetorical context (the journal and its audience, the purpose of the article, the conversation/debate it references, its genre conventions, its organization, the evidence it marshals in support of its argument, and/or its disciplinary assumptions and values), and a couple of sentences talking about why you choose this article, about what it helps you understand about your research topic. You will need to include copies of all your sources when you submit your bibliography. See example below.

Downs, Doug and Elizabeth Wardle. “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions:
(Re)Envisioning ‘First Year Composition’ as ‘Introduction to Writing Studies.’” College
Composition and Communication 58.4 (2007): 552-585. Web. 10 Feb. 2011.
In this article, Doug Downs and Elizabeth Wardle propose a new model for first-year writing classes. They argue that these classes should take writing studies as their content and that doing so will benefit not only students but the discipline itself. They contend that the topic of the writing class should be a study of writing; students should read and discuss and research issues involving “writing, rhetoric, language and literacy” (553). They cite research that shows that students are not transferring the lessons they learn in first-year writing classes to other writing situations (in other classes), and believe that it is because these first-year writing lessons don’t necessarily apply to other situations (556-557); they contend that a better strategy would be to teach “realistic and useful conception of writing - perhaps the most significant of which is that writing is neither basic nor universal but content- and context-contingent and irreducibly complex” (557-558), a strategy that requires students study and write about writing rather than about other topics. They trace the success of their own pilot “writing about writing” courses, providing case studies that show that the curriculum works for underprepared students as well as honors students (564-573).
The article is aimed at writing teachers and perhaps faculty who make curriculum decisions for first-year composition. The articles wants to convince this audience to adopt the proposed curriculum and does this by drawing on research that calls into question the efficacy of the curriculum of most first-year writing programs. It also addresses debates about the low status of the discipline in the academy, arguing that the proposed curriculum will help remedy this low status. The writers also directly address critics of the new curriculum, arguing against their objections one by one. The article is arranged first to argue for the curriculum using already-published and accepted research, then to describe in detail the proposed curriculum, then to report on case studies of classes that taught the new curriculum, and then to argue against critic’s objections. The article does not directly follow the social science model (literature review, describe experiment, data from experiment, discuss conclusions based on data), but it does loosely follow this model and is tightly structured with subheadings. The writers refer to themselves by their last names or by “we,” especially in the case study portion of the article and at the beginning of a section when they outline what they will do in that section. They also quote heavily form their students’ own writing as proof that students did learn important lessons in the new curriculum – showing that the article values first-hand experience of teachers (this is the largest section in the article at nearly 9 pages in length). This article is incredibly useful in my study of what skills students can take with them from their first-year writing classes. It provides a discussion of why students can’t transfer many of the lessons they learn in learn in many first-year writing to their other classes (academic discourse is not one thing) and it helps me understand how rhetorical knowledge and an appreciation of the complexity of writing is something they can take with them. The case study examples, in particular, are useful in helping me see what students learned that will be helpful to them later.

Process:
Develop a narrowed research topic and focused research question
Find articles using library databases pertinent to your topic (MLA)
Adapt research topic based on early findings
Read, evaluate, summarize, interpret, and describe sources
Draft citations for peer review
Present research to class
Revise for feedback from peers
Submit two copies of the final draft of your annotated bibliography, a draft with feedback from peers, and copies of all your sources

Grading:
Annotated bibliographies will be evaluated on how relevant the sources are to each other and to the narrowed topic at hand. They will also be evaluated on the degree to which they fully engage these sources in the paragraphs that summarize and explain it. See grading rubric below:

Source 1
__ of 17
Source

  • is “meaty” or substantial in length and perspectives (such as a feature article in a newspaper or magazine) or in depth of research (such as an academic article)
  • is secondary rather than primary
  • meets the evaluative criteria discussed in class (recent, published by reputable source, written by an expert in the field)
  • is on same narrowed topic as other sources in annotated bibliography.

__ of 17
Citation includes

  • a citation in correct MLA format
  • a good-sized paragraph that summarizes the source. The main argument and main points are included. Remember to paraphrase accurately and ethically.
  • a paragraph in which the student describes the rhetorical context of the article and articulates, in a couple of sentences, how the source helps them understand their narrowed topic in all its complexity.

Source 2
__ of 17
Source

  • is “meaty” or substantial in length and perspectives (such as a feature article in a newspaper or magazine) or in depth of research (such as an academic article)
  • is secondary rather than primary
  • meets the evaluative criteria discussed in class (recent, published by reputable source, written by an expert in the field)
  • is on same narrowed topic as other sources in annotated bibliography.

__ of 17
Citation includes

  • a citation in correct MLA format
  • a good-sized paragraph that summarizes the source. The main argument and main points are included. Remember to paraphrase accurately and ethically.
  • a paragraph in which the student describes the rhetorical context of the article and articulates, in a couple of sentences, how the source helps them understand their narrowed topic in all its complexity.

Source 3
__ of 17
Source

  • is “meaty” or substantial in length and perspectives (such as a feature article in a newspaper or magazine) or in depth of research (such as an academic article)
  • is secondary rather than primary
  • meets the evaluative criteria discussed in class (recent, published by reputable source, written by an expert in the field)
  • is on same narrowed topic as other sources in annotated bibliography.

__ of 17
Citation includes

  • a citation in correct MLA format
  • a good-sized paragraph that summarizes the source. The main argument and main points are included. Remember to paraphrase accurately and ethically.
  • a paragraph in which the student describes the rhetorical context of the article and articulates, in a couple of sentences, how the source helps them understand their narrowed topic in all its complexity.
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