Secondary Source Analysis

Essay III: Annotated Bibliography

Writing Assignment:
Write an annotated bibliography for at least six secondary sources on a topic that grew out of your reading and/or our discussion of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. I am open to other topics, just clear them with me first. You will find secondary sources that look at the topic in the 1960s and sources that look at that same topic today. Pay careful attention to narrowing your topic. Finding articles on the Vietnam war and the Iraq war will not help you unless you have narrowed your topic to, for example, protests against the Vietnam conflict and protests against the Iraqi war.

Essay IV will not cite all these sources (most likely you will only be looking at the issue in the present), but you will need at least this many sources to get a thorough grasp on the topic you are discussing. At least two of these sources will examine this issue in the 1960s and two will examine it in the present day. At least two will need to be academic sources. Each entry will include
1) a correct citation
2) a concise, paragraph length, summary of the article (its thesis/argument, main points, important evidence)
3) a brief, paragraph length, evaluation of the argument of the article with attention ot ethos, pathos, logos
4) a sentence or two that evaluates usefulness of the article for your project.


  • Engage with library sources early in the writing process
  • Make a sufficient survey of the research available on a topic
  • Identify audience, purpose, assertions, and assumptions in assigned readings
  • Organize material clearly and effectively, with emphasis on thesis and main points
  • Evaluate the objectivity and completeness of a source
  • Write an summary and analysis, paraphrasing and quoting correctly and honestly

To Complete This Assignment Successfully:

  • Find at least six library sources. The annotated bibliography can include articles in non-academic journals like Time or Newsweek, but remember that you need at least two academic sources.
  • Read and annotate each article carefully.
  • Write a thorough summary of the essay (a good sized paragraph). Remember that summaries are objective. You want to include the thesis, the main points, and the especially relevant evidence
  • Evaluate the article. Is the thesis (argument) of the essay clear? Is the information presented clearly? Is the evidence persuasive? Is the argument logical? Does the writer establish ethos (the reader’s trust). Does the article use pathos (emotions) ethically? Write at least 3 sentences that explain what is good and bad about the argument the article makes.
  • Write at least one sentence evaluating the usefulness of the article for your project.
  • Revise and edit your sentences.
  • Use correct MLA format in citing the articles.
  • Model your annotations on the form below.

Norris, Margot. “The First Amendment and the Internet.” Journal of Higher Education 6.3 (1998): 37-56.
Norris argues that the “shrill hysteria” (38) about the internet surrounding issues of pornography and privacy will fade away once people are more comfortable with the technology. Her article gives a brief historic overview of the debate concerning free speech on the internet (38-39). She traces the events leading up to the passing of the decency act (45). She also provides historical precedents for this debate, showing the results of similar discussions about free speech in the print media, but she is careful to explain the ways in which the present discussions about the internet are unique to the medium (45-53).
Norris’s makes an appropriate and persuasive analogy between the hysteria surrounding the advent of the printing press and that surrounding the advent of the internet. However, her argument does not adequately address concerns about children’s access to the internet, access that is not similar to children’s access to printed material. Furthermore, while her article is extremely informative, it is somewhat dated since it contains no recent information on the debate.
The article will be quite useful to my project in that it will provide me with valuable background information about controversies surrounding the internet in the mid 1990’s.

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