Using the sources selected for the research topic and the contents of their annotated bibliography students must generate
the introductory paragraph [introduce the essay], and
an outline with the headings for the various sections of the essay
A. Introduce the Essay. The beginning lets your readers know what the essay is about, the topic. The essay’s topic does not exist in a vacuum, however; part of letting readers know what your essay is about meant establishing the essay’s context, the frame within which you will approach your topic.
Beyond introducing your topic, your beginning must also let readers know what the central issue is. What question or problem will you be thinking about? You can pose a question that will lead to your idea (in which case, your idea will be the answer to your question), or you can make a thesis statement. Or you can do both: you can ask a question and immediately suggest the answer that your essay will argue.
There is still the further question of how to start. What makes a good opening? You can start with specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, a question, an anecdote, or an image. But whatever sort of opening you choose, it should be directly related to your focus.
B. Generate an Outline. Before you can begin outlining, you need to have a sense of what you will argue in the essay. From your analysis and close readings of primary and/or secondary sources, you should have notes, ideas, and possible quotes to cite as evidence.
Your goal is to rearrange your ideas, notes, and quotes—the raw material of your essay—into an order that best supports your argument, not the arguments you’ve read in other people’s works. To do this, you have to group your notes into categories and then arrange these categories in a logical order.
The Harvard Writing Centre has tips on generating this outline: http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/outlining
You can then develop the headings and subheadings for each section of your essay.
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources [with proper APA citations] such as books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) paragraph that summarizes, evaluates, and explains each entry on the list. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. When you write annotations for each source, you’re required to read and reflect on your sources more carefully.
Summarize: What are the main arguments found in this source? What is the point of this book or article? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say?
Evaluate: Is this a useful source? How does it compare with your other sources? Is this source reliable?
Explain: How does this source fit into your research? Was it useful to you in developing your
Annotated Bibliography Template
Based on the topic you have selected:
Select keywords or phrases relevant to your topic
Search the online library for current academic sources that will assist you in the development of your argument in the research essay
Articles should be published within the last 10 years
Identify 8 to 10 of these sources that you find most useful
Document each source carefully using APA style citations
Generate an APA bibliography with each entry in alphabetical order by the last name of the author, which you will then use in your final paper
After reading each source:
Thoroughly summarize, evaluate and explain each of your chosen sources
This may be 1 to 2 paragraphs for each source
These paragraphs will be added to your bibliography under the matching citation
Write essays in double-spacing; it allows for easier review and editing.
Use APA referencing guidelines for citation and references.
Do not write in the first person (I) but rather in the third (they).
Do not use Wikipedia as a primary source – it is useful as a tool to help focus your thesis, and possibly direct you to find other more sound primary sources, but should not be quoted or used as a primary source itself.
Ensure all references are academically sound sources. If an article is found in an academic journal in one of the library databases, then you can assume it has been peer-reviewed and thus acceptable. Many articles found readily online may not have been exposed to any editorial vetting process, and thus should be carefully considered before being used as a resource. Poor choices will negatively impact your grade. Check with your instructor if you are in doubt (but obviously, well before any due date)
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