Professor Baiada Working Thesis + Annotated Bibliography Assignment Essay #2A

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ENG 339

Professor Baiada

Working Thesis + Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Essay #2A


  • Working Thesis Statement Your working thesis statement should articulate what you think the answer to your guiding question will be based on your reading, research and thinking. This thesis will help you plan and begin to draft your essay, but it is a “working” thesis because it is liable to change as you develop your ideas and argument more fully in the actual drafting phase. This should be no more than three sentences.

  • At least 3 citations of research sources relevant to your essay question with a complete citation (summary + thoughts/insights, app. 150 words) for each. Must be in MLA format with sources in alphabetical order according to author’s last name.

Due by email by Saturday, November 4th

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books and articles you are considering in relation to your essay. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

You should already have a located and gathered several sources related to your topic. In order to complete this step, you also need to have examined/read these sources to see what arguments they make, how relevant they are to the question you are trying to answer, what ideas, evidence or frameworks they provide to help you answer your question. .

As you read through your preliminary sources, some have likely been discarded but ultimately you are required to have at least three that you believe are relevant and can contribute to helping you answer the question you are asking of the literature being analyzed. These are the sources you will include and annotate for this assignment. You may include more than three if you are unsure of which are the most useful or if you intend to use more than three.

So what do you do to create an annotated bibliography? Well, two things…

  • First, cite each book or article using MLA documentation style just as you would in a regular bibliography or Works Cited page. (See guides under Resources for Research in assignment folder or the BMCC library guide on their website)

  • Second, for each write a concise annotation that includes:

    • 1. A brief summary of the central theme/argument and scope of the book or article.

    • 2. Include one or more sentences that articulate your thoughts and insights gained from the source. In other words, explain how this work illuminates your topic or contributes to thinking through your question. You may also compare or contrast this work with another you have cited.

If it helps, you can get at this final part of the annotation by answering these questions:

-How does the source help you answer your research question?

-How did the source change or influence your thinking on the research question?

-How was this source different from other sources used?

Sample entry (from a history paper but you’ll get the idea):

Tompkins, Jane. “‘Indians’: Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History.” Critical Inquiry 13.1 (1986). 101-119. Print.

Tomkins explores her attempts to uncover the “truth” about historical encounters between Native Americans and European colonists through a personal narrative. Documenting her research process chronologically, Tomkins shows how her perspective changes as she consults historical documents written by first the colonizers and then the colonized. Tomkins ultimately concludes that since no overarching historical narrative exists, students of history must seek out competing versions of history to approximate the truth. This article represents an important contribution to the field of historiography and will figure prominently in my paper’s methodology section.

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